USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg visits Lake Charles to announce $150 million in Mega Grant funding for I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Replacement

Published 2:35 pm Thursday, February 9, 2023

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LAKE CHARLES, La. – Today, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg joined Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn Wilson in Lake Charles to celebrate the $150 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant will be awarded to DOTD for the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Replacement Project, with the funding delivered through the Mega Grant Program. The program is designed to benefit major infrastructure projects that will have a far-reaching economic impact throughout the region.

“If words could build bridges, we would have got this done a long time ago. But talk doesn’t build bridges; funding does, cooperation between different political parties and levels of government does, and on those fronts, the leaders here and our President Joe Biden are delivering,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “That is why, less than two years since President Biden was here, drawing attention to this bridge and America’s infrastructure needs, we are so proud to award $150 million to help Louisiana build a new Calcasieu Bridge for future generations.”

“I would like to thank U.S. DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg for visiting Southwest Louisiana today to celebrate this critical grant funding for the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Replacement,” said Gov. Edwards. “Secretary Buttigieg’s visit underscores just how important this bridge is to not only Southwest Louisiana, but to our entire state and the United States of America. This is the largest grant ever awarded to DOTD, and that’s something the department and Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson should be extremely proud of. A new I-10 bridge has been needed for decades, and it is finally within reach thanks to hard bipartisan work at the state, federal and local levels. We know Southwest Louisiana is an economic powerhouse, and a new bridge will help unleash this region’s potential, growing our economy and improving quality of life.”

“Ensuring that a project of this magnitude has adequate funding is a key component in getting this project done, and this $150 million grant is a step forward in that direction,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “The existing I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge has various limitations, including a steep clearance and a lack of shoulders. This new bridge will transform the I-10 corridor and will offer updated design standards for motorists. This bridge is a major piece of Louisiana’s infrastructure, and as secretary, I will continue to push to make sure this project has the resources needed to become a reality. I want to thank the elected officials on the federal level for putting aside partisan differences and coming together to achieve a shared goal through the Infrastructure Investment Act (IIJA).”

“We are finally building a new Calcasieu River Bridge,” said Dr. Cassidy. “When we were working on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, I had projects like the Calcasieu River Bridge in mind. Because I had a seat at the table, Louisiana had a seat at the table, and the job got done.”

“I am thrilled that $150 million is coming to our state for the replacement of the I-10 Calcasieu bridge in Lake Charles. This is straight from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, legislation that is making our communities better right now and providing jobs for our hard-working union men and women. I am proud to have worked on and supported this important bill that will have tangible benefits here in Louisiana,” said Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. (LA-02).

The estimated $1.5 billion I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge Project will extend from the I-10/I-210 west interchange to east of the Ryan Street exit ramp on the east side of the bridge. It will reconstruct the Calcasieu River Bridge and the interstate mainline, and improve and reconfigure a segment of LA 378 (Sampson Street) from I-10 to Sulphur Avenue. The project will provide three thru lanes in each direction to increase traffic capacity. Other features include shoulders and center barriers, a lower approach incline, increased overheard clearance and improved interchanges. Currently, there is $800 million in public funding for the project, including $600 million in state funds and $200 million in federal funds.

A developer is anticipated to be selected for the P3 project by the fourth quarter of 2023, with construction to begin by early 2025, weather permitting. Design and construction on this project is estimated to take five to seven years to complete.