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Right eastbound lane opens on I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge after inspection

Westbound lanes are fully open
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Posted at 8:48 AM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 21:33:27-04

The right eastbound lane on the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge has reopened to traffic following an inspection by DOTD. The left eastbound lane remains closed at I-210; all westbound lanes have reopened.

The closure was due to a crash and vehicle fire that occurred Wednesday night shortly before 7:45 p.m. on the bridge involving two vehicles: an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle, State Police say. As a result of the crash, one of the vehicles involved became fully engulfed in flames.

DOTD inspectors responded to the scene and have determined that the bridge had to remain closed in both directions until it was deemed safe for travel, troopers said. Officials inspected the surface, bridge rails, and the under bridge structures for the westbound side. DOTD determined that additional testing is required before reopening the left eastbound lane. The I-10 eastbound entrance ramp at LA 378 will remain closed as well.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, DOTD updated:

"We have temporarily opened two lanes to the I-10 eastbound to I-210 eastbound flyover ramp and two lanes to the I-210 westbound to I-10 westbound flyover to help mitigate traffic congestion following the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge inspection closure. Traffic traveling I-10 westbound from Westlake will exit at PPG Drive (Exit 26) to detour to US 90. Additionally, the I-10 westbound entrance ramp at PPG Drive is closed. "

Inspectors are continuing to evaluate the extent of damage on the eastbound lanes.

“DOTD’s first priority is always safety. In a week where we have had three major fires on bridge structures, I fully understand the inconvenience and disruption this bridge closure is causing, and I am pleased to open the westbound lanes. I appreciate the traveling public’s patience as we work to complete the eastbound inspection, so we can restore safe travels” said Secretary Dr. Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D.

Drivers can visit www.511la.org or visit the 511 mobile app for updates on real-time traffic and roadway conditions.

Photos from the Westlake Police Department show vehicle damage from the fire:

Video below of the fire submitted by Stephen Johnson:

Video submitted to KATC shows smoke from the fire:

This is the third vehicle fire this week on I-10 between Texas and New Orleans. Wednesday, I-10 East was down to one lane for at least seven hours after an 18-wheeler caught fire. Troopers say an equipment malfunction on the truck was to blame; no one was injured.

All eastbound lanes of I-10 East near New Orleans at the Bonnet Carre Spillway are now open to vehicle traffic after a fiery crash Monday caused damage to the bridge. No injuries were reported. The interstate remains closed to commercial trucks while crews evaluate for load weights. There's no timeline on when the lane will be reopened for truck traffic, DOTD says.

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