Lake Charles officials are beginning a process to determine if a new fire station will needed after the proposed Nelson Road extension is completed. (American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, July 13, 2012 10:48 AM
Lake Charles officials are beginning a process to determine if a new fire station will needed after the proposed Nelson Road extension is completed.
Mayor Randy Roach told the American Press on Wednesday that guidelines that govern municipal fire ratings may require the opening of a station to serve the Lakeshore Drive area and a new bridge over Contraband Bayou would warrant the addition of fire hydrants.
Preliminary figures indicate that a new fire station — from construction to operation — would cost $4 million.
“And that would help maintain the city’s fire insurance rating,” Roach said.
Until the Roach administration determines if the station would be needed, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and building consultants cannot finalize plans for the bridge.
A main issue is the proposed span’s configuration.
Designers initially settled on a bridge with a height of 70 feet with a 6 percent incline.
That design is being questioned because traffic would get backed up when trains enter and exit the Port of Lake Charles.
“The idea now is to reduce the height of the bridge. A marine study was done, and the consultants determined a bridge 51 feet high could be built. At that height, 90 percent of marine vessel traffic would be able to go under the bridge,” Roach said. “That means a movable bridge would be built, and boat owners would have to call in advance to get the bridge open.
“There are a lot of interchangeable parts. This is a situation where you realize nothing is ever simple.”
The city is committed to redoing a section of Sallier Street at a cost of about $8 million, but the exact amount of the Nelson Road extension, which will be built by the state, has yet to be determined.