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Rare Photographs of I-10 Bridge Being Built

Hard to believe that, at one time, there was not a bridge over the Calcasieu on I-10. It seems that what has now become a point of much controversy was a cause for much celebration when it opened back in 1951.

Here are a few shots of the now infamous I-10 bridge being built. Check out this one where we can see the land that was cleared to make way for the bridge.

McNeese Library
McNeese Library













The caption reads: Initial ground-clearing operations for the new Calcasieu river bridge are underway. Bridge company contractors for the waterstructure portion of the project moves in heavy [materials] for the $3,544,323 job. The photograph is from May of 1948.

McNeese Library













Here’s a great shot of workers laying down rebar near the top of the structure. I can’t help but feel that someone just may know these guys. This picture is from July of 1951.

McNeese Library
McNeese Library













On September 28, 1951, Lake Charles citizens turned out in big numbers to witness the ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening the bridge for traffic. Shortly after the ribbon cutting, the first cars made their way across the bridge.

McNeese Library
McNeese Library














One of the earlier pictures had the price of the project at just over $3 million and this photo has the price at $10 million. It’s nice to know that some things never change. Notice too that there is no center median. Makes that slab of concrete look more like a landing field than a highway.

All the pictures used in this story are from the McNeese Library and used by permission.

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