Louisiana DOTD Signs Partnership on I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Project

Calcasieu River Bridge | I-80 Exit Guide
Conceptual view of the new Calcasieu River Bridge | Louisiana DOT

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced the signing of the official, public-private partnership with Calcasieu Bridge Partners to build the new Interstate 10 Calcasieu River Bridge in Lake Charles, an estimated $2.1 billion project.

The Joint Legislative Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee approved the partnership between DOTD and CBP during its meeting this week.

The project is a 5.5-mile corridor stretching from near Ryan Street in Lake Charles to the I-210 and I-10 interchange in Westlake. Along with the new bridge and approaches, the project includes the interstate roadways and ramps, the I-10 service roads, and interchanges at PPG Drive, Sampson Street, and North Lakeshore/Ryan Street that connect the interstate to state roads and local streets. Sampson Street will be elevated over the railroad tracks to eliminate blockages from trains.

The existing bridge was built in the early 1950s and predates the interstate system. It is narrow, lacks shoulders, and has steep approach grades. Conversely, the new bridge will be lower and not as steep, have more lanes, full shoulders, and roadway lighting.

The total anticipated cost of the project is $2.1 billion, $1.2 billion of which is coming from various sources of state and federal funds. Calcasieu Bridge Partners will cover the remaining costs and recoup its investments using a toll system once construction is complete. CBP will oversee the construction, maintenance, and operation of the new toll bridge.

Tolling will not begin until the new bridge is open to traffic, and only vehicles crossing the bridge will be subject to a toll. Toll rates have been set at 2023 dollars, and they will be adjusted over time based upon the Consumer Price Index.

Construction could start as early as 2024 and is anticipated to last approximately seven years.

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