Contact Governor John Bel Edwards & DOTD Sec. Shawn Wilson opposing I-10 tolling.
Citizens & transportation industry members are against the administration’s current plans for financing the construction of the new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge with a toll. Truckers & members of Louisiana and the nation’s transportation industry greatly depend on this corridor of I-10, for the connection of the supply chain throughout Texas, south Louisiana & the entirety of the Gulf Coast.
I-10 runs through the country, from Jacksonville, FL to Santa Monica, CA. In the 2,460 miles that I-10 runs, there are currently NO TOLLS throughout the 7 states the interstate intersects. The DOTD's current plan of implementing tolling through a public-private partnership (P3) would provide the bridge & Louisiana with the ONLY TOLLED PORTION OF I-10 IN THE COUNTRY! We believe allowing tolling on I-10 would set a poor precedent for our state nationally.
Additionally, the proposed P3 placed a large portion of the financial burden on the trucking & transportation industry. Implementing a toll on this section of I-10 leaves I-210 as the only alternative route. Not only does this route add mileage to a trip, but will also suffer the same issues as the current bridge with congestion & needed maintenance. We believe that these issues will worsen after the I-10 toll as citizens & industry move to this longer route.
As an industry, we firmly agree that there needs to be a greater investment in our state’s infrastructure including the long-needed repairs to the Calcasieu River Bridge. What we fundamentally disagree with is the administration's current plans of recruiting P3s to shift costs onto citizens while the provider profits. We find this egregious when there has been an emphasis from the federal government, with Presidents Biden & Trump visiting this bridge, using it as the backdrop for infrastructure policy.
We ask that the Governor & DOTD look at alternatives for funding this project to fund our infrastructure and keep tolls off of our interstate!