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Lawmakers back study of a new bridge over Mississippi River

3 years 1 month 1 day ago May 22, 2014 May 22, 2014 Thursday, May 22 2014 May 22, 2014 6:43 AM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Brittany Weiss

BATON ROUGE - Some state representatives believe the Capital City area is ready for a new bridge across the Mississippi River.

This week, the legislature passed a resolution that seeks a study on the feasibility of a new bridge.  House Concurrent Resolution 100 requests the Department of Transportation and Development to begin a study involving a bridge connecting the east and west sides of Iberville Parish.

Rep. Karen St. Germain says it would help traffic and open up the area to industry and workers and also take some of the traffic off the clogged I-10 Mississippi River Bridge.

"A bridge across the river, whatever the cost is, will benefit the economy on both sides," she said. "We need new infrastructure."

Germain says the estimated cost of a new bridge is $800 million and could include a toll.

"People are ready. They will have a choice. They will not have to cross that bridge if they don't want to," said Germain. "But, I can tell you, there's not a person that has ever told me 'don't build that bridge,' whether you have to put tolls on it or not."

The study proposal also includes a Westbank Connector to help solve the traffic problems along the west side of the river. The connector would be a new roadway parallel to LA 1 from I-10 to LA 70, the Sunshine Bridge.

The proposal says the Westbank Connector could provide an alternative to a loop or bypass around Baton Rouge.

DOTD was not ready to comment on this proposal.

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