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Louisiana DOTD Signs Public-Private Partnership with Calcasieu Bridge Partners on I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Project

BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announces the signing of the official, public-private partnership (P3) with Calcasieu Bridge Partners (CBP) 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 P3 between DOTD and CBP during its meeting.

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.

Gov. Jeff Landry said moving this long-awaited project forward will bring about a bridge that meets all modern travel standards. Similarly, building the new bridge and expanding the I-10 corridor will open the door to more opportunities for economic growth throughout Southwest Louisiana and the state.

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“Getting this deal secured in a way that was best suited for the Southwest Louisiana region was one of my administration’s top goals when I took office,” Landry said. “With today’s signature, we have proven that we are committed to investing in infrastructure that will significantly benefit Louisiana and the I-10 corridor and give the Lake Charles region a potential revenue stream for generations to come.”

DOTD Secretary Joe Donahue said this project has been years in the making, and the updated bridge will provide a better traveling experience for the thousands of travelers who cross it daily.

“Southwest Louisiana residents have waited decades for a new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge,” he said. “Now, it’s more than just a pipe dream. We at DOTD are pleased to see this project advance. Motorists can look forward to an upgraded bridge that will be in line with today’s regulations.”

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.

In addition, the project will include 15 percent equity that the state will receive. Any profits earned from the tolls will benefit infrastructure projects in the Lake Charles region. Profits will be used to further reduce toll rates, shorten the 50-year term of the toll, or fund other (yet-to-be identified) highway transportation infrastructure projects in the five-parish area.

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

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