DOTD to Solicit Proposals for New I-10 Bridge in Lake Charles
There are three bridges on Interstate 10 in Louisiana that give me the heebie-jeebies, it's an actual medical condition, look it up. One is the I-10 bridge over the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge. I don't like that one because the traffic is always a mess. The second is the seemingly neverending bridge across the Atchafalaya Basin. I don't like that one because the traffic is always a mess.
The third bridge that gives me gas is the I-10 bridge over the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles. This one bothers me because the traffic is always a mess and I believe in my heart this bridge could actually fall over.
A lot of people share similar feelings as me about the bridge also known as The Louisiana World War II Bridge. According to LaDoTD, the bridge is not structurally deficient. However, when it was built over half a century ago engineers couldn't have imagined the traffic load it would carry. The bridge has no shoulders and quite frankly doesn't meet the demands of today's Interstate traffic.
Yesterday, DoTD was given approval by the Louisiana Legislature to search for private partners to finance and build a new bridge. The new bridge would be a toll bridge. DoTD officials say a toll bridge with private partners would be the only way the estimated $700-$800 million dollar project could be completed.
Let's face it, a toll bridge won't be popular but it will be a lot better than a bridge that falls over in a few years. Actually, toll roads and bridges are becoming more common not only in America but around the world. It seems to be the only way governments, local governments anyway, can afford these incredible infrastructure investments.
Hey, if it gets me where I want to go safely and with better traffic flow, I'll toss in a couple of bucks but I can see how a toll could get expensive for commuters who pass in and out of the Lake Area on their way to work every day.
Still, we are just in the exploratory stages now, there will be, pardon the pun, a lot more water under the bridge, before this all gets settled and plans for a new bridge are drawn up.
7 Interesting Facts About The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge