The Interstate 10 Calcasieu River bridge was named one of the nation’s most dangerous bridges in a recent Travel and Leisure magazine article. The 60-year-old I-10 bridge was No. 7 on the list, which was topped by Boston’s Storrow Drive. (American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Friday, August 16, 2013 9:54 PM
The Interstate 10 Calcasieu River bridge was named one of the nation’s most dangerous bridges in a recent Travel and Leisure magazine article.
“While the arching profile of this cantilever bridge may be aesthetically pleasing, its steep grades have been cited as a traffic concern, especially given the high volume of trucks the bridge carries along this major east-west corridor,” reads the article, titled “America’s Most Dangerous Bridges.”
The 60-year-old I-10 bridge was No. 7 on the list, which was topped by Boston’s Storrow Drive.
Lauren Lee, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation and Development, said that if the bridge were deemed unsafe, it would be closed.
The bridges on the list see average traffic of more than 50,000 vehicles per day, the article said. The rankings were compiled using 2012 Federal Highway Administration sufficiency ratings, which judge “structural adequacy, safety, serviceability for modern use, and essentiality to the public.”
“The resulting list reveals America’s high-traffic bridges with the worst sufficiency ratings,” the article reads.
About 66,000 vehicles per day cross the Calcasieu bridge, Lee said. The bridge has a sufficiency rating of 9.9 out of 100.
“Sufficiency ratings are used to help identify structures that qualify for rehabilitation or replacement through the Federal Highway Administration’s Bridge Program,” Lee said in an email.
“It is important to note that just because a bridge’s sufficiency rating is low does not imply that it is unsafe. The safety of the traveling public is the top priority of DOTD. If a bridge is deemed unsafe during an inspection, it is closed until repairs are made.”
The Calcasieu River overpass was the only bridge in the south on the list. Most of the 19 bridges listed were in the northeast, with six in New York, three in both Massachusetts and New Jersey and two in Connecticut.
Repairs totaling $5.7 million completed late last year “involved cleaning and ‘spot’ painting, sealing deck joints, structural steel repairs, and inspecting and repairing finger joints,” Lee said.
A plan to replace the bridge was put on hold after ethylene dichloride from a 1994 pipeline leak was found around the bridge, causing concerns that construction could cause the chemicals to enter Southwest Louisiana’s drinking water.
The American Press reported this week that a study of how to proceed with the bridge will last until 2016. Although there is no timeline for construction, the study will help determine the cost and alignment of a new bridge, Lee said.
She said the I-10 bridge project envisions replacing the bridge, six-laning the Lake Charles I-10 corridor, replacing the approaches, revamping interchanges and redesigning the Sampson Street interchange.
Posted By: LMGM On: 3/18/2016
Title: Hometown Bridge
I am a 51 year Old native, Woman Of Lake Charles, La. And It's funny, I Took a Photo Of The Bridge On last week When I was home From My hotel room And later, gave it The Name On a site, hometown Bridges.
Posted By: The Good On: 3/17/2016
Title: NO Warries
I crossed this bridge over 500 times in the last 15 years and I never had any strange sensations. Matter of fact I crossed it during the hurricane season in 2005. Is just another bridge in the Interstate System. Most of the bridges in US that go along the interstate System need serious maintenance works. The system was designed in the 50's and 60's and most of the bridges are designed for 50 years. You should thank your forefathers they overdesigned these structures.
Posted By: ELtarrance Smith On: 2/24/2016
Title: I've seen taller bridges
The Houston Ship Channel Bridge is way taller than the Calcasieu River Bridge. I have to admit the first time I crossed that bridge in 2015, it kind of scared me a little bit. After crossing it again I became used to it. Going East it's a beautiful scenery to your right with the Isle of Capri Casino sitting on the river and you can see the Golden Nugget and LuBerge du Lac in the distance. That's what I like about the bridge it's stunning views and scenery.
Posted By: C. Janet Austin On: 10/9/2015
Title: some facts about the LC bridge and Rainbow bridge
actually, Teena Q Cole . the Port Arthur 'rainbow' bridge and the Lake Charles I 10 bridge have exactly the SAME grade/steepness... and the Rainbow bridge is actually older (opened 1938) than the LC bridge (opened 1952)... Rainbow Bridge appears steeper because it is taller... but both rise in the same degree...
Rainbow bridge is not an 'interstate bridge' and therefore does not have the traffic that the LC bridge has... hence the LC bridge has deteriorated at a much higher rate... as well a second bridge was built for the opposing direction at Rainbow bridge so the traffic is divided between two bridges there...
as well, everyone in LC refers to the NEW bridge and the OLD bridge.,.. but there is ONLY 10 years difference in their ages... I 10 bridge opened in 1952 and the 210 bridge opened in 1962 and the NEW bridge is not in much better shape...
it's past time that something was done about BOTH bridges
Posted By: Kathy Kelley On: 10/6/2015
Title: Confederate hand guns
Why? Because of the confederate hand guns that run down the sides?
Posted By: Damien leday On: 10/4/2015
Title: My opinion
Everyday of my life until I was 32 yrs of age I've live in lake Charles and have cross I-10 bridge maybe a thousand times. And as a kid my parents have broke down on the top of that bridge and a uncle tryed to kill himself on that same bridge. My honest opinion is the bridge has been dangerous for years and if you can spend 5.7 million on repairs then why can't they build a new bridge and instead of saving a accident waiting to happen. I to love the bridge but if safety is a address issue for the bridge then I say put our tax dollars to the use of building a safer structure...
Posted By: Randy Thomas On: 10/4/2015
Title: Almost Killed on This Bridge
I was almost killed on this bridge in 1993. I do not like crossing it.
Posted By: HAHA On: 10/4/2015
Title: Just one more thing I hate about Lake Charles
There is not enough space to list the things I hate about Louisiana and especially, Lake Charles.
Glad I'm out!
Posted By: Cademcl On: 10/3/2015
Title: P*ss poor planning
Unfortunately the DOTD believes that that the 2-10 bridge takes priority over the I10 bridge. Re-decking will begin sometime in the beginning of 2016 and take almost 2 years to complete. They will be shutting off the 2 west bound lanes first and converge 2 way traffic onto the 2 East bound lanes; then switch this process to the West bound lane once it is complete. I personally believe that this is very poor planning on their part, which the influx of new residents and business. Just wait for the traffic jams and delays.
Posted By: Lynda On: 10/3/2015
Title: I-10 Bridge
I would rather keep the bridge than have our drinking water contaminated. The bridge hasn't fallen yet!!
Posted By: anonymous On: 10/3/2015
Title: sad sad place
Lake Charles should be a shamed of there self.... This is just plain out sad they have no excuse to not fix this bridge now maybe if we write to the president something might get done. What are y'all going to do to replace people lives who die if this bridge collapse? Tell them your sorry and give them condolences when you could do something about it now....If something happen to my family members are me y'all will be hearing from my lawyers. This is pathetic.
Posted By: Teena Q Cole On: 10/2/2015
Title: Dangerous Lake Charles Bridge
More & more, reminds me of the old aaPort Arthur bridge that seemed to climb straight up. Towed a 24 ft. trailer up it once; the experience gave me more gray hairs.
Posted By: mario dominguez-8/27/2013 On: 8/27/2013
Title: SAFETY MUST BE A PRIORITY IN LAKE CHARLES, LA.
If I-10 bridge is one of the nations most dangerous, where does it stand in structure safety? Who would be responsible for the damages and lives if this Old Bridge collapsed. The traffic number will increase and will get more dangerous...it is time to take action and replace the Bridge.
Posted By: KB On: 8/25/2013
Title: Safety and New Engineering
It just needs to be flexible. The Fred Hartman leading between La Porte/Deer Park and Baytown area is an example. Due to such complicated weather conditions, water and high volumes of traffic the area needs flexible cable tension. The cables can be tightened and loosened. The further details are beyond my expertise but it has been sufficient.
This is just a picture:
Posted By: Toya B On: 8/20/2013
It's always just talk what there gonna do; to me they don't value the lives of the people who are crossing it.
Posted By: Michael Tritico On: 8/18/2013
Title: Try to get the inspection reports
I tried and got over 3,000 pages full of redactions (blacked out lines). Maybe you can do better.
Posted By: Gidget Sanders Corn On: 8/17/2013
I remember crossing this bridge as a child when I lived in Lake Charles. I never gave it a second thought. When I come home for a visit it does scare me crossing over it. Long, and steep. I would not like to be on it in the rain though. It's a beautiful bridge that has been part of our town for many of years.
Posted By: Gregory Viator On: 8/17/2013
Title: Calcasiieu river bridge- I-10
I like everyone else views the bridge as a landmark! But there comes a time when safety comes first! I think the reason the bridge has not been replaced is purely political! If it were kn New Orleans or Baton Rouge even Lafayette, this bridge would have long been replaced! Unfortunately, it's in Lake Charles, the gateway to the south!!
Posted By: Darrell On: 8/17/2013
The fact That it will take three years before anything is done on the bridge is sad. It shows a lack of leadership we have in this area as we keep on waiting for this spill from 20 years ago to be cleaned up. They should have a plan in place already and funding being established, so that way we can get started on the bridge as soon as clean up is done.
Posted By: Linda Dousay On: 8/17/2013
Title: Thank you!
My opinion of the Lake Charles American Press just skyrocketed. I was born and grew up in Lake Charles. I love the bridge as much as any person alive, but it scares me to think of my family and loved ones crossing the bridge.