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Something About The I-10 Bridge Doesn’t Add Up

Kristian Bland
Kristian Bland

Want a new I-10 bridge? ‘Course ya do!

You should make plans to attend an open-forum coming up on August 3rd, but more on that in a minute. First, there are a couple of things you might want to be aware of before the meeting.

In the DOTD’s previous “Fact Sheet” from 2013, the Final Environmental Impact Statement that was begun in 2014 was going to be completed and presented in Spring 2016. However, in their most recent “Fact Sheet“, the EIS won’t be done until Spring 2019 – five years after it was started, and three years after is was supposed to be finished. So that’s pretty neat.

Wonder what’s taking so long?

However, the most interesting thing by far is a brief mention of how, by 2040 – 23 years from now – the DOTD predicts that the bridge’s traffic levels will exceed its safe capacity of 37,000 vehicles per day.

Here’s a screenshot from the “Fact Sheet”:

LADOTD
LADOTD

If you’re wondering why that little tidbit is so interesting, it’s because, according to the National Bridge Inventory Database, if the bridge’s safe capacity is 37,000 vehicles, then it already exceeded its safe capacity three years ago.

The exact number for the bridge’s average daily traffic in 2015 as detailed in the NBID report was 74,100 vehicles per day.

That’s right. According to this report, the amount of traffic going over the I-10 bridge in 2015 was already double the bridge’s safe capacity. The DOTD’s “Fact Sheet” couldn’t be more clear on this point. It plainly states that the bridge’s safe capacity is 37,000 vehicles per day, but the NBID says 37,100 more vehicles than that are already traveling over it. And we’re still pretty far away from the year 2040.

National Bridge Inventory Database
National Bridge Inventory Database

That might be an interesting point to bring up during the public comments section of the meeting, if anyone wants to volunteer.

Who knows, maybe one statistic is one-way traffic, while the other represents the total number cars traveling along both sides of the bridge, or maybe somebody at the DOTD just jotted down the wrong numbers in their official reports and press releases and public newsletters, or maybe the National Bridge Inventory Database is just plain wrong. We’ll see.

The open-forum meeting will be held Thursday, August 3rd, from 5pm-8pm in the Contraband Room of the Lake Charles Civic Center. Come out, listen to what they have to say, and make your voice heard.

More info can be found at i10lakecharles.com.

READ MORE: Who's Lying About the I-10 Bridge?

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