The eastbound lanes of the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge have been closed since Tuesday morning for emergency repairs, potentially averting a disaster reminiscent of a deadly accident that occurred over 40 years ago.


I-10 eastbound over the Calcasieu River Bridge is now open to traffic.


The swift closure was initiated after a driver crossing the bridge noticed an unusual protrusion from an expansion joint. The driver, whose alertness may have saved lives, reported the unusual road conditions to the Westlake Police.

Upon receiving the report, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) immediately shut down the eastbound traffic to conduct necessary repairs.

The DOTD identified the issue as a damaged finger expansion joint, a critical component that allows the bridge to adjust to temperature changes. This timely intervention likely prevented a catastrophic event, drawing eerie parallels to the tragic accident of 1981 on the same bridge.

On August 27, 1981, a similar problem with an expansion joint led to a multi-vehicle pileup, involving 26 vehicles and resulting in three fatalities. The expansion joint had popped up, puncturing a truck's diesel fuel tank and causing a slick, dangerous roadway.

The recent closure has caused significant traffic congestion, with eastbound vehicles being redirected to I-210 or through Moss Bluff. Motorists are advised to expect delays and plan for longer travel times. The DOTD has not provided a timeline for the completion of the repairs or the reopening of the bridge.

Authorities are working around the clock to address the issue and restore normal traffic flow as quickly as possible. Until then, drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes and exercise patience during this period of disruption.

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Gallery Credit: Sarah Jones