After years of much talk and seemingly little action, things picked up in early 2024 in the effort to get the long-awaited I-10 Bridge replacement project moving. According to La. DOTD spokesperson John Guidroz, the Joint Legislative Transportation Committee approved a public-private partnership (P3) for the bridge project in late January. The agreement was signed between DOTD and Calcasieu Bridge Partners on Jan. 31, 2024. The anticipated $2.1 billion project is a 5.5-mile corridor stretching from near Ryan Street in Lake Charles to the I-210 and I-10 interchange in Westlake. Along with the new bridge and approaches, the project includes the interstate roadways and ramps, the I-10 service roads, and interchanges at PPG Drive, Sampson Street, and North Lakeshore/Ryan Street that connect the interstate to state roads and local streets. Sampson Street will be elevated over the railroad tracks to eliminate blockages from trains. A toll system will allow Calcasieu Bridge Partners to recoup its investments once construction is complete. 

City of Lake Charles

Road Projects

According to city planner John Cardone, a number of asphalt overlays were completed in 2023, and several more are planned for 2024. This work also includes making repairs to the sanitary sewer systems, drainage structures and water mains. 

Recently completed projects include:

Guinn Street (N. Grace Street to Cathy Street)

Orrin Street (Harless Street to Knapp Street)

Commercial Street (N. Prater Street to N. Lincoln Street)

Booker Street (Ray Street to Harless Street)

Projects scheduled to be completed in 2024 include:

Belle Alee Lane (Holly Hill Road to the dead end)

Brammer Lane (Opelousas to the dead end)

Central Parkway, East and West (University Drive, south to the dead end)

Fernwood Drive (Lisle Peters Road to dead end)

Franklin Street (Gieffers Street to St. John Street)

Junior Street (Commercial Street, north to dead end)

Lucas Lane (Fernwood Drive to dead end)

Conoco Street (Ory Street to Highway 171)

North Malcolm Street (Conoco Street to Crockett Street)

Crockett Street (Ory Street to Highway 171)

Pack Road (Old Highway 171 to South Pack Road)

Kinder Street (Highway 171 to East to Dead End)

North Grace Street (Kinder Street to Medora Street)

Colfax Street (Highway 171 to East to Dead End)

Lynn Street (Highway 171 to East to Dead End)

Mary Street (Highway 171 to East to Dead End)

Mary Belle Williams parking lot

Broad Street (Lakeshore to Enterprise)

Kirby Street (Ryan to Kirkman)

Pujo Street (Lakeshore to Louisiana Ave)

Ryan Street (Clarence to Kirby)

Ryan Street (Mill to River)

South Division Street (Kirkman to Louisiana Avenue)

Mill Street (Ann to Bilbo)

Common Street (Kirby to Cleveland)

Division Street (Bilbo to Lakeshore)

Iris Street (Ryan to Common)

Along with the asphalt overlays, in 2024 the city will complete one of the largest striping packages ever to be constructed. 

The streets included in the striping package include:

Derek Drive (Highway 14 to E. Prien Lake Road)

Dillard Loop (Highway 14 to Amoco Drive)

5th Avenue (McNeese Street to 12th Street)

Benoit Lane (Sale Road to Jennifer Street)

Jennifer Street (Benoit Lane to Eileen Street)

LaGrange Street (Lake Street to Common Street)

McNeese Street (Nelson Road to Ryan Street)

Sale Road (Weaver Road to Common Street)

Lake Street (Country Club Road to McNeese Street)

Eileen Street (McNeese Street to Jennifer Street)

E. McNeese Street (Roundabout to all approaches to concrete limits)

Golden Nugget Boulevard (State ROW Cove Lane to Ave L’Auberge)

Graywood Parkway (Big Lake Road to the roundabout)

Kingsley Street (Fruge Street to Mill Street)

Park Avenue (Shell Beach Drive to Ryan Street)

Wilson Avenue (Shell Beach Drive to Dr. Michael Debakey Drive)

Shell Beach Drive (From asphalt/concrete transition to Clarence Street)

Pujo Street (Ryan Street to Kirkman Street)

Moss Street (Kirby Street to Broad Street)

Holly Hill Road (Chrysler Street to Sale Road)

Amoco Drive (Power Center Parkway to Derek Drive)

Dr. Michael Debakey Drive (Ryan Street to Lake Street)

Medora Street (Cathy Street to Highway 171)

Pineview Street (Highway 171 to Cathy Street)

Cathy Street (Medora Street to W. JB Carter Lane)

Seventh Street (Ryan Street to 1st Avenue)

Several streets were removed from the project. These include:

Lakeshore Drive (Clarence Street to Mill Street)

Power Center Parkway (Highway 14 to East 3,100 feet. to asphalt)

Simmons Street (Opelousas Street to Fitzenreiter Road)

Walters Street (Kirkman Street to Louisiana Avenue)

Weaver Road (Sale Road to South 300 Ft. – end of concrete)

14th Street (Highway 14 to Fourth Avenue)

1st Avenue (Prien Lake Road to Broad Street)

2nd Avenue (Prien Lake Road to Broad Street)

3rd Avenue (Prien Lake Road to Broad Street)

4th Avenue (Prien Lake Road to Broad Street)

Nelson Road Roundabout (at Ham Reid Road)

W. Prien Lake Road Widening Project

The widening of West Prien Lake Road, a cost-share project between the City of Lake Charles and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, is well underway. This project not only includes a widened roadway, but also more space at intersections and sidewalks, as well as drainage improvements. 

The first major phase of the project, which included the reconstruction of West Prien Lake Road at its intersection with West Sale Road, was completed in 2022. The widening and drainage improvements on W. Sale Road between W. Prien Lake Road and Rue Chan Ann have also been completed. Pavement work will begin on W. Prien Lake Road north of W. Sale Road in the Spring of 2024. The project is slated for completion in spring 2025.

Other Projects

A few other major projects of note from 2023 include the following:

Louisiana Avenue drainage improvements south of McNeese Street

Riverridge drainage improvements and asphalt overlay

1st Avenue walking trail (North of Broad)

4th Avenue Drainage Improvements 

St. Louis area Drainage Improvements

The reconstruction of Enterprise Boulevard from 12th Street to Broad Street includes a partial reconstruction and full asphalt overlay of Enterprise Boulevard between the bounding streets. This project also includes the reconstruction of the existing sidewalks in their entirety, drainage improvements, and water and sewer line replacements. The first phase of the project, a large-diameter drainage improvement on 1st Street, has been completed. The contractors are now working block to block from Broad south to 12th Street on the remaining pavement, drainage and sidewalk improvements. This project should be completed by summer of 2026.

The Kirkman Street Bridge is scheduled to be rebuilt this year, and plans are underway for the reconstruction and replacement of the 18th Street Bridge and roadway between Lake and Creole. 

In February 2023, DOTD broke ground on the Nelson Road Extension Bridge, and the Port of Lake Charles is currently working to relocate their rail on Sallier Street. Both of these projects will work in conjunction with the city’s plan to reconstruct West Sallier Street, says Cardone. Once the rail work has been completed, the City will go out for bids for Sallier Street, which is expected to occur in the Fall of 2024.  

Grant Funding

The city has been successful in four grant applications that will have significant positive impacts on our infrastructure. The award of a FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Grant, or BRIC Grant, will allow the city, in a first phase, to survey and develop a plan to address open ditches within the city limits. Future grant applications will seek funding to carry out the projects identified in phase one.  

The Safe Streets for All Grant will allow the City of Lake Charles to develop a comprehensive Safety Action Plan to make improvements to the pedestrian and bicycle network throughout the city. News of this grant award came from the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2023. 

The Louisiana Watershed Initiative will provide $3.15 million in funding to improve drainage infrastructure on 6th Street from 6th Avenue to the outfall. The City made application to this grant in 2023 and was awarded the grant in early 2024.  

The ReTree LC Corridor Enhancements Grant, with an award of $866,000 through the U.S. Forest Service, will provide planting of mixed trees within city parks and along road boulevards.  

In 2021, the city administration sought and received authority to borrow up to $20 million to complete and expedite a drainage improvement program begun in 2017. Using CCTV, this two-fold approach allows contractors to identify any issues with the lines, such as an undersized or collapsed pipe, as well as clean the lines, removing any debris, providing an immediate improvement in drainage. The city reports that 80 percent of the inspection and cleaning portion of the program has been completed.  

Bond Projects

The city went to the voters in the Fall of 2023 to seek approval to borrow funding for LC Rebound, a major infrastructure and quality of life investment, to strengthen and secure the city’s future. The item was approved by the voters, and the city has been working to begin design on various projects. 

The following projects will be the first to break ground: 

Enterprise Boulevard extension

W. Sale reconstruction

Ryan Street beautification

Mid-City Enterprise Boulevard beautification

Mid-City 5th Avenue beautification

Louisiana Avenue and Enterprise intersection improvements

Citywide sidewalk and median repairs 

Sen. J. Bennett Johnston beautification project

Lock Park Inclusive Playground

Kayak launches at Riverside and Holly Hill Road

State DOTD Projects

According to Guidroz, progress continues on widening I-10 from the Texas state line east to Coone Gully. Work is nearly 60-percent complete. The $152 million project includes widening the interstate to six lanes and widening the bridge to accommodate the widening. The project should be complete by summer of 2025. A $75.7 million project to widen and replace the existing I-10 bridges over US Hwy. 165 in Jeff Davis and Calcasieu Parishes is 46-percent complete. The project stretches over five miles of I-10 in both directions between Iowa and Lacassine. The interstate will be widened from two to four lanes, and the bridge will include three thru lanes and an eastbound on ramp and westbound off ramp. The project is expected to be completed by winter 2025, weather depending.

A $101.7 million project to extend Nelson Road and build a bridge over Contraband Bayou is underway. Construction stretches over one mile, and the bridge, once complete, will connect Nelson Road with West Sallier Street. The project will also include an access road to the Port of Lake Charles. DOTD and the port will work to relocate an existing railroad owned by the port. 


The City of Lake Charles will also work on improvements along West Sallier Street. The project, dubbed a “game changer” for Lake Charles, will connect South Lake Charles with Downtown Lake Charles. It was announced in February, and is expected to be completed by spring 2026.

Construction of two new ferry boats for the Cameron crossing is underway. This $49.7 million project will fund the construction of boats that will each measure 190 feet x 50 feet x 13 feet. Once complete, the new boats will replace the Cameron II, which has been in service since it was built in 1964. The new boats will allow large commercial vehicles to be loaded and unloaded without any interruptions. The project is expected to be completed sometime in 2025.

A $24 million project to replace six bridges on La. Hwy. 12 from the Texas line to La. Hwy. 109 in Calcasieu Parish is anticipated to be completed by spring of 2024.

A $10.2 million project to install J-turns on US Hwy. 165 in Allen Parish is 40 percent complete and is anticipated to wrap up in late July 2024.

A $3.6 million project to construct a roundabout intersection at La. Hwy. 14 and La. Hwy. 397 was completed in late 2023 and is open.

A $4 million project that includes electrical and structural repairs to the Kelso and Ellender movable bridges is expected to begin in the spring and finish by late 2023.


Comments are closed.