DOTD responds to I-10 Bridge safety concerns

Published: May. 26, 2016 at 3:00 AM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2016 at 3:27 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's inspected every year, yet the safety of the Interstate 10 Bridge over the Calcasieu River is constantly questioned.

The 64-year-old bridge has caused concern, especially after being called one of the most unsafe bridges in the nation. However, the Department of Transportation and Development said there were no red flags in the bridge's latest inspection

"The bridge is not going to fall down; if it were dangerous we would close the bridge," said Todd Landry, DOTD district administrator.

Landry feels he needs to remind people how safe the bridge is, especially after a recent article trending on social media. It calls the bridge unsafe, and shows a major drop in it's sufficiency rating from the National Bridge Inventory.

"Basically, the sufficiency rating mentioned really has nothing to do with the safety of the bridge," said Landry.

The article shows the bridge's sufficiency rating as a 0.66, but according to Landry the rating is actually 6.6.

According to the NBI database, the sufficiency rating is based on over 20 different factors like incline, material, guardrails, and width. Landry said rating is low because the bridge was built in the 1950s.

"It has a lot to do with the age of the bridge; there are some other factors that contribute to that, but it's really not an indication of the safety of the bridge," said Landry.

While dreams of a new I-10 bridge are being discussed, a more realistic project is planned.

"There will be another rehab project for the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge there in a few years," said Landry.

The I-10 Bridge rehab is scheduled for after the I-210 Bridge project is complete. That project will start this fall is will last at least two years.

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