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History

When the current I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge opened for traffic in 1952 as part of a state highway, it was designed for a traffic load of 37,000 per day and a 50-year life span. The average daily crossings today are over 90,000. The aging structure has carried a traffic load over two times its design capacity for decades. The need for a replacement bridge was first discussed in the 1980s – well over 30 years ago.

The National Bridge Inventory (NBI) has rated the bridge a 6.6 out of 100. NBI rates the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge deck, superstructure, and substructure as “Serious Condition” with the structural evaluation as “basically intolerable requiring high priority of corrective action.” NBI defines “Serious Condition” as “Loss of section, deterioration, spalling, or scour have seriously affected primary structural components. Local failures are possible. Fatigue cracks in steel or sheer cracks in concrete may be present.”

For over 30 years, this project has been delayed and left for future generations to solve.

Today, this bridge is the most critical infrastructure project in the United States, located in the center of the nation’s largest industrial construction zone, where America’s emerging energy independence and worldwide dominance is taking place.

Southwest Louisiana leads the state – and the nation – in economic development, with over $108 billion in industrial projects. These projects provide thousands of new jobs and deliver millions to our economy.

However, this progress and our future economic stability are at risk because of this one weak link in our regional infrastructure.

I-10 CALCASIEU RIVER
BRIDGE TIMELINE
Construction 1952 Construction Completed DOTD Investigation 1970 In 1970, DOTD investigates crashes on bridge.
New overlay was considered. Bridge inspection found corrosion
problems on structure, and overlay was abandoned.
Bridge Study 1980 Louisiana officials decide to study the possibility
of replacing the bridge in the late 1980’s.
Conoco Spill 1994 In 1994, it is reported that Conoco spilled
1.7 Million pounds of ethylene dichloride (“EDC”)
near the I-10 bridge on the west bank of the Calcasieu River.
DOTD Study 2000 In 2000, DOTD retained HNTB Corporation to
prepare a feasibility and environmental assessment (“EA”)
for the purpose of replacing the existing bridge.
Bridge Height 2000 During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, state and local officials debated
the height of the new bridge. The state recommended a bridge with
a clearance of 73 feet which is now supported by local government agencies.
LDEQ June 2010 On June 18, 2010, LDEQ wrote a guidance letter
to LA DOTD indicating that LA DOTD could construct the
new bridge without triggering environmental concerns.
NEPA Process July 2010 In July 2010, the FHWA authorized LA DOTD to restart the
NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process, this time preparing
a full Environmental Impact Study (“EIS”) instead of an EA.
EA & EIS 2018 The LA DOTD’s environmental assessment process (EA and EIS)
has been ongoing for 18 years. Estimated completion 2020.
January 2019 Chamber SWLA I-10 Bridge Task Force releases
recommendations for P3 funding of a new bridge.
May 2019 Concurrent resolution passed by Louisiana Legislature directing LA DOTD
to work with the Task Force to continue to move the bridge project forward.
May 2019 During a visit to SWLA , President Trump commits to
building a new bridge if re-elected, opening options for
federal funding and focusing national attention on the project.
June 2019 State Senator Ronnie Johns’ senate bill is passed, dedicating any industrial
spill damage funds to a newly created Calcasieu Parish Bridge Fund.
July 2019 LA DOTD appoints project manager for the bridge, commits to
completing EIS with all due speed and beings P3 process.
July 2019 Task Force holds conference call with members of federal delegation,
Federal Highway Administration, and LA DOTD Secretary to discuss
removing obstacles to bridge project progress.
August 2019 Gubernatorial candidate Ralph Abraham pledges
to secure new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge
August 2019 Governor John Bel Edwards promises to include $85 million dollars
in funding toward the bridge in the 2020 capital outlay bill.
September 2019 Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Lake Charles City Council
and the Calcasieu Parish Industrial Development Board
commit funds to support campaign to build a new bridge.

History

When the current I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge opened for traffic in 1952 as part of a state highway, it was designed for a traffic load of 37,000 per day and a 50-year life span. The average daily crossings today are over 90,000. The aging structure has carried a traffic load over two times its design capacity for decades. The need for a replacement bridge was first discussed in the 1980s – well over 30 years ago.

The National Bridge Inventory (NBI) has rated the bridge a 6.6 out of 100. NBI rates the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge deck, superstructure, and substructure as “Serious Condition” with the structural evaluation as “basically intolerable requiring high priority of corrective action.” NBI defines “Serious Ccondition” as “Loss of section, deterioration, spalling, or scour have seriously affected primary structural components. Local failures are possible. Fatigue cracks in steel or sheer cracks in concrete may be present.”

For over 30 years, this project has been delayed and left for future generations to solve.

Today, this bridge is the most critical infrastructure project in the United States, located in the center of the nation’s largest industrial construction zone, where America’s emerging energy independence and worldwide dominance is taking place.

Southwest Louisiana leads the state – and the nation – in economic development, with over $108 billion in industrial projects. These projects provide thousands of new jobs and deliver millions to our economy.

However, this progress and our future economic stability are at risk because of this one weak link in our regional infrastructure.

I-10 Calcasieu
River Bridge Timeline

Construction 1952
Construction Completed
DOTD Investigation 1970
In 1970, DOTD investigates crashes on bridge. New overlay was considered. Bridge inspection found corrosion problems on structure and overlay was abandoned.
Bridge Study 1980
Louisiana officials decide to study the possibility of replacing the bridge in the late 1980’s.
Conoco Spill 1994
In 1994, it is reported that Conoco spilled 1.7 Million pounds of ethylene dichloride (“EDC”) near the I-10 bridge on the west bank of the Calcasieu River.
DOTD Study 2000
In 2000, DOTD retained HNTB Corporation to prepare a feasibility and environmental assessment (“EA”) for the purpose of replacing the existing bridge.
Bridge Height 2000
During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, state and local officials debated the height of the new bridge. The state recommended a bridge with a clearance of 73 feet which is now supported by local government agencies.
LDEQ June 2010
On June 18, 2010, LDEQ wrote a guidance letter to LA DOTD indicating that LA DOTD could construct the new bridge without triggering environmental concerns.
NEPA Process July 2010
In July 2010, the FHWA authorized LA DOTD to restart the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process, this time preparing a full Environmental Impact Study (“EIS”) instead of an EA.
EA & EIS 2018
The LA DOTD’s environmental assessment process (EA and EIS) has been ongoing for 18 years. Estimated completion 2020.
January 2019
Chamber SWLA I-10 Bridge Task Force releases recommendations for P3 funding of a new bridge.
May 2019
President Trump commits to building a new bridge if re-elected during a visit to SWLA , opening options for federal funding and focusing national attention on the project.
May 2019
Concurrent resolution passed by Louisiana Legislature directing LA DOTD to work with the Task Force to continue to move the bridge project forward.
June 2019
State Senator Ronnie Johns’ Senate Bill is passed, dedicating any industrial spill damage funds to a newly created Calcasieu Parish Bridge Fund.
July 2019
Task Force holds conference call with members of Federal Delegation, Federal Highway Administration and LA DOTD Secretary to discuss removing obstacles to bridge project progress.
July 2019
LA DOTD appoints project manager for the bridge, commits to completing EIS with all due speed and beings P3 process.
August 2019
Gubernatorial candidate Ralph Abraham pledges to secure new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge.
August 2019
Governor John Bel Edwards promises to include $85 million dollars in funding toward the bridge in the 2020 capital outlay bill.
September 2019
Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Lake Charles City Council and the Calcasieu Parish Industrial Development Board commit funds to support campaign to build a new bridge.

History

When the current I-10 Calcasieu River bridge opened for traffic in 1952, it was designed for a traffic load of 37,000 per day and a 50-year life span. In 2016, the average daily crossings were over 80,000. The need for a replacement bridge was first discussed in the 1980s – well over 30 years ago.

When the current I-10 Calcasieu River bridge opened for traffic in 1952, it was designed for a traffic load of 37,000 per day and a 50-year life span. In 2016, the average daily crossings were over 80,000. The need for a replacement bridge was first discussed in the 1980s – well over 30 years ago.

History

When the current I-10 Calcasieu River bridge opened for traffic in 1952, it was designed for a traffic load of 37,000 per day and a 50-year life span. In 2016, the average daily crossings were over 80,000. The need for a replacement bridge was first discussed in the 1980s – well over 30 years ago.

The National Bridge Inventory (NBI) has rated the bridge a 6.6 out of 100. By comparison, the Interstate 35 West Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was rated a 50 when it collapsed. NBI rates the I-10 Calcasieu River bridge deck, superstructure and substructure as “Serious Condition” with the structural evaluation as “basically intolerable requiring high priority of corrective action.” NBI defines “serious condition” as “Loss of section, deterioration, spalling or scour have seriously affected primary structural components. Local failures are possible. Fatigue cracks in steel or sheer cracks in concrete may be present.”