$2.1B Louisiana bridge project advances

Louisiana DOT has selected Calcasieu Bridge Partners for exclusive negotiations to build a new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge, the agency announced on July 25. CBP is a joint venture composed of infrastructure developer Plenary Americas US Holdings, with Miami-based Sacyr Infrastructure USA and Madrid-based Acciona Concesiones S.L. serving as design-build partners. 

The project will be built through a public-private partnership. The plan includes the construction of a new eight-lane bridge over the Calcasieu River with three travel lanes and one auxiliary lane in each direction, as well as a tolling center. It will also demolish and remove the existing bridge once traffic is transferred to the new span.

CBP will manage and oversee construction, maintenance and operations of the new bridge and will recoup its investment through tolls paid by motorists. Funding will be supplemented with $800 million from a variety of federal and state sources, Louisiana DOT said.

The existing Calcasieu River Bridge was constructed in 1952 and is now beyond its useful life, according to the Louisiana DOT. It connects Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Westlake, Louisiana, and the DOT projects that it will carry 110,000 vehicles per day by 2042.

In addition to a new bridge and approaches, the 5.5-mile-long project includes the interstate roadways and ramps, I-10 service roads and interchanges. The new span will be lower and less steep, with more lanes, full shoulders and roadway lighting.

Construction could start as early as 2024 and is anticipated to finish in 2031.

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