Elevated interchange proposed

WESTLAKE — The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has presented its latest plan to address Sampson Street access during future construction of a new Interstate 10-Calcasieu River Bridge.

The department and representatives of HNTB Corporation, the project’s consulting firm, presented Preliminary Build Alternative 5-G during a public meeting Thursday, recommending solutions to address the concerns of residents voiced during an August 2017 meeting.

“We got a lot of feedback saying, ‘We really want an interchange in Westlake that crosses over the railroad tracks,’” Eric Kalivoda, LaDOTD deputy secretary said. “This new alternative is complicated but provides a good finished product and we wanted to get people’s reaction to that tonight.”

PBA 5-G features a fully directional, elevated interchange over Sampson Street and would require the relocation of pipe racks and railroad spurs. The project would take about four years to complete with Sampson Street being closed for 18-24 months.

“It’s going to be very difficult, because there are going to be times when Sampson Street is going to be closed and you can’t make all the normal connections,” Lynn Maloney-Mujica, HNTB Corporation’s senior environmental planner, said.

During various phases of the Sampson Street closures, Westlake drivers would have to utilize existing routes like Miller Avenue and Trousdale Road to access the interstate.

“Everything will be constructed in phases, so not everything will be closed at one time,” she said. “It’s not impossible. It’s just not going to be wonderful in the short-term. The trade off for that is once it’s built, you will never get caught behind a train again,” she said.

The exact type of bridge to cross the Calcasieu River has yet to be determined, Kalivoda said. It will be built north of the current bridge between the Westlake railroad tracks and the bridge. The 73-foot-tall new bridge will feature six lanes constructed of reinforced concrete creating a “much stouter” structure, he said.

Final paperwork and approvals are expected to be completed in the spring of 2021, with construction expected to last two years, he said. The current bridge will remain operational throughout the construction period.

Funding for the project will be comprised of federal, state, private and tolls. LaDOTD requested a gas tax in 2017 to pay for the construction, but the proposal failed.

“That may change in the next year or so, we’ll see, if it doesn’t we’re going to wind up using tolls to pay for this part of the bridge,” Kalivoda said.

The public is invited to review and provide feedback on the Preliminary Built Alternative plans online at www.i10lakecharles.comor by mailing comments to I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Project, c/o HNTB Corporation 10000 Perkins Rowe, Suite 640, Baton Rouge, LA 70810. All comments must be submitted or postmarked by May 5, 2019.

Local News

Mayor gives two-year post-Hurricane Laura update

Local News

$3M more in FEMA money to be dedicated to Iowa, LaGrange high school repairs

Local News

Allen Parish a top district for one-year growth on LEAP test

Local News

OLQH students gather for long-standing tradition

life

Monica Smith’s teaching career began with Tiny Steps

Local News

Pro Watercross: National championships return to LC this weekend

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:What’s latest on our voting?

Crime

LaGrange student arrested for bringing gun to school

life

Mom’s school lunches look complicated, but they’re not

Local News

Entergy customers will pay $3.2 billion to reimburse company for repair costs

Local News

United Way to open Entergy Utility Assistance Program Wednesday

Local News

Low potential for tropical cyclone development in southwest Gulf

Crime

8/16: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Elton water services to be shut off at 4 p.m. today

Crime

Sheriff: Teenager shot during Kinder back-to-school party

Crime

8/15: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Crime

LC man charged in Saturday shooting

Local News

Feds oppose unsealing affidavit for Mar-a-Lago warrant

Crime

BREAKING: Mother charged with murder after 6-month-old left in car five hours

Local News

LAPAW in dire need of fosters, donations

Local News

Voting machine debate: Conspiracies question integrity of elections

Local News

Heart for volunteerism at core of Care Help for 40 years

Local News

Impairment, speed suspected in fatal crash

Crime

8/14: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list