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Amendments made to proposal of new I-10 bridge

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 8:10 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Metropolitan Planning Organization voted in favor of amendments made to the proposal of the new I-10 bridge and will present the proposal to DOTD.

The plan to replace the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge has the support of local leaders, including the mayors of Lake Charles, Sulphur and Westlake. The local leaders being a part of the planning committee, passed a resolution for design options of the bridge.

“This is not a Lake Charles Problem. Replacing the bridge is not a Calcasieu Parish problem. It is an American problem,” said Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter during the meeting.

Hunter, in favor of the resolution, expressed the National importance and vitality of the Calcasieu River Bridge. Others attending the meeting agree.

“This is the gateway into Louisiana. This sets the standard for our area and for our generations to come,” said Keith DuRousseau, chairman for the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Task Force. “The amendment that was proposed would include the iconic features that would be symbolic of the bridge that we have today, just a 21st-century version of that bridge.”

Those “iconic features” being programmable LED lighting, cable-stay infrastructure, multi-lane alignment and design, an observation deck, and a bike and pedestrian path.

“Also, it outlines that if there are any cost impacts that would be associated with that, that would not make this project feasible, then these can be removed and replaced as necessary,” DeRousseau said.“We don’t look at this as a short venture. We look at it as a generational project.”

The plan would relocate the Westlake railway to the new Economic Development District and other changes. DuRousseau said that now, the next steps include lobbying for additional funding from the Federal Government, grant programs and the state.

DuRosseau said that they are still trying to gather more funding to either eliminate the possibility of a toll, which he says is their ultimate goal or to make it as low as possible.

As far as when the work on this bridge will be done, that’s still up in the air.

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