The Proposed Toll For Louisiana’s New I-10 Bridge is How Much?
If Louisiana's roads and bridges were human beings we wouldn't be heading to a hospital for repairs we'd be heading to the funeral home. Does the phrase "burn it down and start over" mean anything to you? In fact, that's a suggestion that many of you have had about the state of the I-10 bridge in Lake Charles.
For decades there have been rumblings that the bridge "is not safe". Yet, each day tens of thousands of cars, trucks, and fully loaded school buses cross the bridge over the Calcasieu River as if there was no issue at all.
Fortunately, those who oversee the repair of old roads and the construction of new roads, Louisiana's Department of Transportation, are now moving forward with plans for a new bridge to be built in Lake Charles to accommodate the ever-increasing traffic flow.
I am guessing you probably have gone around to your local hardware store to price Interstate bridges so we'll tell you the estimated sticker price on a new bridge is going to be in the neighborhood of $2.1 billion dollars. Heck, that's more than the Powerball jackpot the other day.
And since Louisiana isn't likely to win any lottery to pay for the project, the money has got to come from somewhere. That "somewhere" that will provide the money looks an awfully lot like that person you see in your mirror. Okay, the federal government is kicking in a lot of money and so is the state of Louisiana. But those contributions won't cover the complete cost.
Louisiana's DOTD Secretary Eric Kalivoda penned a letter yesterday to leaders in the Louisiana Legislature formally requesting approval from the Senate and the House to execute a public-private partnership with Calcasieu Bridge Partners to bring the massive bridge project to fruition.
While almost everyone is in agreement that a new bridge is needed. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of making the bridge a toll bridge or how much the toll will be for motorists who use the bridge. Of course, those not wanting to pay a toll would still have the option of using I-210, the Lake Charles Loop to avoid such tariffs.
What are the Proposed Tolls on the New I-10 Bridge in Lake Charles?
As you can see the toll rates will vary based on the type of vehicle that will be using the bridge. Toll tags will be made available to the public at no cost. And we should clarify that the numbers you see above have not been finalized. There will be a series of public meetings before those numbers become firm and official.
As of now, the plans still suggest that construction on the project could begin as early as next year (2024). It's hoped the bridge, ramps, and roadway adjustments in the Lake Charles area can be completed in about seven years. And in case you're wondering the proposed toll figures you see above are right in line with comparable bridges from around the country.
And don't forget, there's another new I-10 bridge plan in the works for Baton Rouge over the Mississippi River. It's expected that tolls will be charged to cross that bridge as well to help pay for the costs. But suggested tolls for that project have yet to be announced.
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Gallery Credit: Michael Dot Scott