Is a new I-10 Bridge coming?

Updated: Aug. 3, 2017 at 10:31 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - After more than 60 years of constant traffic the I-10 bridge is wearing out.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation has proposed a project to finally get a new bridge.

Right now the bridge is too steep, there is not enough clearance for trucks, and the bridge is literally cracking.

So here are some solutions. DOTD is looking at some options that would include a new bridge just north of the current I-10 bridge or a brand new bridge that would go over Lake Charles and over Contraband Bayou.

"I don't want to really see anything taking away the view that we have of our lake," said Lake Charles resident R. Patrick Diamond.

"I like some of them but some of them are a disaster," said Westlake resident, Betty Bakes.

These options don't just include a new bridge, but also addressing the traffic issues on Sampson Street in Westlake.

"One of the other... principal concerns people have is the issue in Westlake with Sampson Street when trains are blocking the tracks therefore your blocking access to Interstate 10," said Louisiana Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary, Eric Kalivoda. "We think we have some alternatives to address that issue."

And also widening the roads, adding more lanes and new u-turns under the overpasses at different locations in Lake Charles.

In DOTD's plan for the project, they say it would cost close to half a billion dollars and while they don't have a funding plan just yet, tolls could be an option that some are okay with.

"As long as you have still had some free lanes okay, because there are so many people in our area that aren't going to be able to afford the toll, but believe me every trucker that comes across I-10 would have an easy tag if that's what we were using to pay for it, and they would take those toll roads in a second," said Diamond.

But while DOTD continues to work on getting feedback from the public to make this project come to life, those in the area are just happy with the thought of a new bridge coming.

"57 years of going over that bridge, yes I'm very excited," said Bakes.

DOTD would like to have a plan set by spring of 2019.

They are still taking public input until August 14th. If you would like to view all of the proposed options or submit a comment, click HERE.

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