Governor Edwards and The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development released new details on the plan to build a new Calcasieu River bridge in Lake Charles.

TSM Lake Charles
TSM Lake Charles
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The new details include a proposal to make the structure a toll bridge as well as artist renderings.

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Gov. John Bel Edwards and LADOTD Secretary Eric Kalivoda give us more details today on the bridge project:

The project is a 5.5-mile corridor going from near Ryan Street in Lake Charles to the I-210 and I-10 interchange on the west side of Lake Charles.In addition to a 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.Construction could start as early as 2024 and is anticipated to last approximately seven years. The new bridge will be lower and therefore not as steep, have more lanes, full shoulders and roadway lighting.

I gotta pump the brakes right here.  Why is the bridge going to be 5.5 miles long? Is it cheaper to build a bridge over the existing I-10 roads? Would it be cheaper to expand the lanes of the current I-10 east and westbound roadways from the I-10 / 2-10 split to the Calcasieu River to match how many lanes the bridge will have?

LADOTD
LADOTD
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A proposal in the project would be to make the structure a toll bridge to help offset the cost. The tolls will be based on the type of vehicle that is passing over the bridge.

Another thing to note from this morning's update is that toll prices could change every year with the rising inflation of our economy.

LADOTD
LADOTD
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The new bridge project is projected to cost $2.1 billion and take seven years to complete.

For more details on the project, click here.

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