Bridge building

Transportation planner discusses I-10 replacement, I-210 work

By Brian Trahan
news@americanpress.com

<p class="p1">Calcasieu Parish and state leaders agree the Interstate 10 bridge over the Calcasieu River needs to be replaced. Agreeing on how, when, where and how much to spend is another story.</p><p class="p1">Walter Council, the Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development Commission’s transportation planner, addressed bridge replacement, upcoming construction on the Interstate 210 bridge and possible solutions for traffic congestion over the next two decades to Sulphur Kiwanis Club members this week.</p><p class="p1">“To get to a new bridge, there are three phases we have to go through,” Council said. “The first one was the project on the I-10 bridge that we’ve already experienced. The second stage is the I-210 project that will last a year and cut the bridge down to two lanes of travel.</p><p class="p1">“A little bit of pain for a lot of gain, if you will,” Council continued. “The third phase is to have a brand new bridge.”</p><p class="p1">Council said the state Department of Transportation and Development is expected to announce its record of decision — different alternatives for the new bridge, including an environmental impact study and the best solutions for the project — as early as May 2019. </p><p class="p1">“More than likely this new bridge will be a tollway,” Council said. “As you know government is not as charitable with its transportation funding as it once was. When you have a project of any size, it’s ordinarily going to be an 80-20 split with funding — 20 percent being local. When you have a mega project, like this one, it’s probably going to be a 50-50 split. Because of that, more than likely it will have to be a tollway.”</p><p class="p1">One question raised at the meeting was whether or not an eventual second loop off I-10 would be feasible to alleviate traffic from Sulphur to Lake Charles and back.</p><p class="p1">Council mentioned that a second loop has been discussed in meetings — both a north loop in the Westlake-Moss Bluff area and a south loop coming into Carlyss.</p><p class="p1">He said the more plausible option would be a south loop from Carlyss to Lake Charles due to the wetlands in the north, but that would involve designing a third bridge across the Calcasieu Ship Channel.</p><p class="p1">Council said a hyperloop high-speed capsule travel study is among ways technology is being used to solve traffic issues. </p><p class="p1">He said Texas has been designated as a possible location for hyperloop travel. The Texas Triangle loop would be a 640-mile system that would connect Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. In theory, passengers would be able to travel from Dallas to Houston in 90 minutes in a pressurized tube at nearly 500 to 600 mph.</p><p class="p1">“They are undertaking a feasibility study for the Hyperloop now,” Council said. “Think about when you go to the bank and you use the vacuum tube to transport. Imagine a horizontal vacuum tube with a shuttle traveling through this tube.</p><p class="p1">“This is next door to us,” he said. “Who knows 20 to 30 years from now, what could happen to Lake Charles.”</p>

<strong>‘A little bit of pain for a lot of gain, if you will. The third phase is to have a brand new bridge.’  </strong>

<strong>Walter Council</strong>

Transportation planner

””<p>Interstate 210 bridge</p>RickHickmanPhotographer
https://www.americanpress.com/content/tncms/avatars/6/d3/ea1/6d3ea1c8-3a6c-11e7-a1c2-0f91a5883b36.b31acdd1ef972ec0a2acb8ea5b28d153.png

Local News

Volunteer of Week: Stanford dedicates life to city

Local News

Slow rebuild: Local officials say recovery still a ways off

Local News

Pair has passion for civic engagement

Local News

Nonprofit director to retire: Hickman has worked for BArc for 39 years

Local News

Christian Youth Theater opens season with ‘Adam’s Family’

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Let health experts call shots

high-school Football

Jennings High comes to aid of former foe

Local News

Victims of Ida get glimpse of journey ahead

Local News

Support workers not pleased with supplemental pay plan in Jeff Davis

Local News

Only a fraction of funding reimbursed to Cameron by FEMA

Local News

15 child deaths attributed to COVID in La.

Local News

School Board extends COVID-related sick leave policy

Local News

Kind Vibes Only: CPSO hosts one-mile anti-bullying walk

Local News

Sowela rolls out fifth annual Flying Tigers Car Show

Local News

Parents urge Jeff Davis School Board to oppose any vaccine mandate

Local News

City hiring two agencies to help with disaster recovery financial advocacy

Crime

Man arrested in Monday shooting near McNeese campus

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:State’s election system secure

Local News

Transfer of Mallard Cove Golf Course to Chennault complete

Local News

Maplewood schools will remain closed Thursday

Local News

Kinder Future Farmers of America collect, deliver fuel to Lafourche Parish

Local Business News

Disaster assistance request for SW La. makes it to budget

Local Business News

Area LyondellBasell plant receives ISCC PLUS certification

Local Business News

When it comes to headwear, Anne Monlezun and Kevin Mattingly have got you covered