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Local lawmakers push for more funding for I-10 Bridge

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 6:40 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The latest on the capitol’s current legislative session- possible progress for the Calcasieu River Bridge.

A bill up for debate would generate $28 million for four major state projects including the I-10 Bridge, the Mississippi River Bridge, and I-49 North and South.

“The amendment that I put on was crucial because certain dollars were tied up,” Senator Mark Abraham said. “They would not let you put it towards the bridge. My amendment released those restrictions so you could free up that money.”

Senator Abraham of Lake Charles amended the bill, wanting $55 million a year for each project.

“That was huge for Southwest Louisiana,” Abraham said. “It was huge for all the mega projects. It got us so much closer to funding the bridge, totally.”

Senator Abraham said $400 million is currently secured for the I-10 Bridge which has most recently been estimated to cost $1.4 billion.

He said he and other law makers are working to fill that gap by requesting federal grant money.

It’s what Abraham calls plan B. If the bridge falls short of funding and requires tolls, Southwest Louisiana residents will not have to pay that fee, because a portion of the $55 million will front that cost.

“The toll will be a smaller amount as a result of my amendment, a smaller amount and the residents of Southwest Louisiana will not have to pay it,” Abraham said.

The amendment passed, however, the bill is pending house approval.

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