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Author Topic: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge  (Read 5085 times)

jbnv

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Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« on: March 28, 2022, 04:39:28 PM »

Didn't see an existing thread for this in the search; feel free to merge if so.

DOTD will hold public meetings in April and May.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2022, 10:41:01 AM by jbnv »
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2022, 07:52:18 PM »

How likely is a new Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge to be constructed? Could there be other places along the Mississippi River that might need a new bridge more than Baton Rouge?
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Brooks

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Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2022, 08:01:01 PM »

How likely is a new Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge to be constructed? Could there be other places along the Mississippi River that might need a new bridge more than Baton Rouge?
Baton Rouge and Memphis are the only places where a new bridge across the lower Mississippi River might be constructed IMO.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2022, 09:16:27 PM by Brooks »
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skluth

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2022, 08:13:58 PM »

How likely is a new Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge to be constructed? Could there be other places along the Mississippi River that might need a new bridge more than Baton Rouge?
Baton Rouge and Memphis are the only places where a new Mississippi River bridge might be constructed IMO.
The first studies are being done on replacing the I-80 Mississippi River Bridge at the Quad Cities. The I-74 bridge was recently replaced. I realize these bridges aren't as difficult as further downstream, but the Mississippi is still a pretty wide river north of the Ohio and is still expensive to build bridges.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2022, 09:10:53 PM »

How likely is a new Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge to be constructed? Could there be other places along the Mississippi River that might need a new bridge more than Baton Rouge?
Baton Rouge and Memphis are the only places where a new Mississippi River bridge might be constructed IMO.
The first studies are being done on replacing the I-80 Mississippi River Bridge at the Quad Cities. The I-74 bridge was recently replaced. I realize these bridges aren't as difficult as further downstream, but the Mississippi is still a pretty wide river north of the Ohio and is still expensive to build bridges.

And add more to the cost they have to be retroffited and re-enforced to hold against earthquakes since the main crossings of the Mississippi River in Memphis and St.Louis are located in the New Madrid rift zone.
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ilpt4u

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2022, 09:30:34 PM »

The I-270 bridge/New Chain of Rocks Bridge north of Downtown St Louis will be replaced across the Mississippi one of these years. I think IDOT even has plans for it

It is discussed a little bit on the “St Louis Freeways” thread on the Central States board

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=1182.275

This is another crossing north of the Ohio-Mississippi Confluence, so the river isn’t as big, but it is downriver of the Illinois and Missouri into the Mighty Mississippi

The Chain of Rocks Bridge does have the benefit that the Mississippi is not navigable here, as the Chain of Rocks Canal is the shipping channel at this spot along the river
« Last Edit: March 28, 2022, 09:38:40 PM by ilpt4u »
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bwana39

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2022, 11:08:17 PM »

TECHNICALLY BR belongs to the Southeast Sub...There have been LOTS of discussion of this.
This one addresses it particularly.
https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=28262.msg2559910#msg2559910

Almost all of the stuff addressing the Hernando DeSoto bridge damage, those addressing the I-55 / Crump Boulevard (Memphis) intersection, there is probably as much discussion of this bridge on the I-49 (South) and I-69 threads as the roads themselves.

As to the Public Meetings, I was aware of them, but not sure if it came from this site or from Louisiana media.

I would disagree with the poll on that link. Baton Rouge needs a new Mississippi River Bridge far worse than Memphis (or anywhere else along the Mississippi RIver ESPECIALLY at Arkansas City Arkansas. ) While people from large metro areas would argue, Baton Rouge has been cited as one of the top 5 worst highway congestion cities of any size in the US.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2022, 11:14:17 PM by bwana39 »
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jbnv

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2022, 10:40:37 AM »

Everything in this thread that isn't about the future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge is off-topic. Moderators, can we get that stuff moved to the poll topic, please?

I think we can assume that Louisiana will build a new bridge over the Mississippi River since DOTD is going to be holding public meetings about it.

By the way, the next round of statewide elections in Louisiana comes up next year. That includes governor and every seat in the legislature. And there's that $6 billion we're getting for infrastructure. So there's a lot of incentive for the government and people who want to be in the government to start talking about it.
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CoreySamson

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2022, 11:32:57 AM »

How high of a priority is this new bridge to DOTD? I’ve seen it ranked up pretty high, but it seems that I-49 and the Lake Charles bridge are higher up on the grand scheme of things.

Re. Poll topic:
It surprised me after I made that poll how tilted it was towards Memphis. I think there’s just a lot of people on this forum and in real life that just don’t understand how bad the traffic in Baton Rouge really is (or they just haven’t been to that part of Louisiana). I-10 in Baton Rouge is just as reliable as a traffic choke point as I-35 in Austin IMO (the differentiating factor here is while TxDOT has money to fix Austin, DOTD doesn’t have much to spare to fix BR). Memphis doesn’t usually have traffic problems on its bridges, but Baton Rouge does.

I’d say the big problem with Baton Rouge is that there’s no bypass. Thru traffic either has to ram straight through the busiest freeways in BR, wait through traffic lights on Airline, or make a crazy detour. In one of threads about Mississippi River bridges someone tried to argue that the LA 10 bridge is a useful alternative to the mess of town. No it’s not. You have to backtrack on back roads in order to even access the bridge. The bridge is basically abandoned and only serves local traffic.

Anthony_JK

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2022, 12:15:06 PM »

Audobon Bridge is waaaay too far north and waaaay too rural to be an alternative for I-10 traffic, unless you were able to 4-lane LA 10 to New Roads and LA 1 all the way to Alexandria....and that would only relieve the default route of I-49 to Opelousas to US 190 east.

A southern BTR *freeway* bypass at the least is most badly needed, which is why it sucks major hooty that they decided to just use existing arterial routes (extended LA 415 to LA 1, then new Addis bridge connection to LA 30) rather than just build a new freeway/tollway connection. Heck, in that case, just upgrade LA 1 with bypasses of Plaquemine and Donaldsonville, connect to the Sunshine Bridge, and complete a connection to I-10 south of Gonzales.

A northern BTR bypass using a connection to US 190 west of Lobdell, then all of Airline Highway up to Plank Road, then turning north and east through the Amite/Comite River plain north of Denham Springs and Walker is planned as part of the BTR toll loop proposal. Though, I'm wondering if the BUMP plan, that would upgrade all of Airline Highway from Lobdell clear through to Jefferson Highway (including those wack cloverleaf interchanges with Greenwood Springs Road, Florida Boulevard (US 190B) and I-12), would be a more efficient bang for the buck.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2022, 12:44:03 PM »

This is very much needed. They’d be very wise to make it 8 lanes instead of six to “future proof” it.
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jbnv

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2022, 02:08:01 PM »

How high of a priority is this new bridge to DOTD? I’ve seen it ranked up pretty high, but it seems that I-49 and the Lake Charles bridge are higher up on the grand scheme of things.

All of them are badly needed. I think image is a factor working in favor of the BR bridge. The BR bottleneck looks *really* bad to people who have to cross it from out of state. These days, that's a lot of people--arguably much if not most of the traffic on the I-10/12 corridor. And it's probably hurting the BR area in terms of business location--who wants to run a business from a city where getting to and from the business is a nightmare?

We need I-49 South too, but I-49 South is "visible" pretty much only to people who live here.

I’d say the big problem with Baton Rouge is that there’s no bypass. Thru traffic either has to ram straight through the busiest freeways in BR, wait through traffic lights on Airline, or make a crazy detour.

You're correct. Especialy if you're going from east of BR to west of it or vice versa.

A southern BTR *freeway* bypass at the least is most badly needed, which is why it sucks major hooty that they decided to just use existing arterial routes (extended LA 415 to LA 1, then new Addis bridge connection to LA 30) rather than just build a new freeway/tollway connection. Heck, in that case, just upgrade LA 1 with bypasses of Plaquemine and Donaldsonville, connect to the Sunshine Bridge, and complete a connection to I-10 south of Gonzales.

I'd go even further and make the whole LA 1/3127 corridor freeway or expressway all the way to Boutte. That would give east-bound traffic a significant bypass option. It would give the river-parish communities another way (perhaps a better one) to get to BR without having to take I-10. The corridor is already laid out with much of the needed ROW already in DOTD hands. And the connections to a new bridge could be built before the bridge is funded and built.

I'm planning to go to the meeting on April 25. Remind me to ask about this idea.

A northern BTR bypass using a connection to US 190 west of Lobdell, then all of Airline Highway up to Plank Road, then turning north and east through the Amite/Comite River plain north of Denham Springs and Walker is planned as part of the BTR toll loop proposal. Though, I'm wondering if the BUMP plan, that would upgrade all of Airline Highway from Lobdell clear through to Jefferson Highway (including those wack cloverleaf interchanges with Greenwood Springs Road, Florida Boulevard (US 190B) and I-12), would be a more efficient bang for the buck.

I'm with you on BUMP. The anti-highway activists are already trying to kill the loop.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2022, 02:26:52 PM by jbnv »
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bwana39

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2022, 10:48:37 AM »

How likely is a new Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge to be constructed? Could there be other places along the Mississippi River that might need a new bridge more than Baton Rouge?

I believe Baton Rouge is clearly the highest need. 
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jbnv

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2022, 12:51:48 PM »

Everything in this thread that isn't about the future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge is off-topic. Moderators, can we get that stuff moved to the poll topic, please?
I just mentioned that there was discussion on the other places about a generic bridge in Baton Rouge (and even some about THIS bridge). Sorry if it offended you.

Where did I say anything about you?

Quote
I think we can assume that Louisiana will build a new bridge over the Mississippi River since DOTD is going to be holding public meetings about it.
If public meetings by DOTD meant there would be imminent construction, the Shreveport ICC would have been finished years ago. The Acadian Throughway in Lafayette would be finished.
I can't imagine that Baton Rouge will not get at least one new bridge in the next TWENTY years.  That said, one of the options discussed in these hearings is a no-build option.
Hearings and public meetings really are just PLANNING tools, not actual progress toward construction. It does mean that DOTD has this project on the radar. It certainly does not mean funding will be available to put this project to the front of the line.

Your statement is contradictory. Yes, hearings do not prove that ground will ever be broken. But you seem to believe, as I claimed, that Louisiana will build a new bridge over the Mississippi River. I said nothing about a timeframe.

As for the funding:

Quote
New Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge narrowed down to 10 possible locations

Louisiana residents will have a chance to review 10 proposed locations for a new bridge over the Mississippi River in the Baton Rouge area. The consultant group the state has hired for the project told a local committee Monday afternoon they will use public feedback to narrow that list to three by the end of May.

The committee faces significant pressure to pick the bridge’s location before the state budget is finalized in June. House Speaker Clay Schexnayder and other legislative leaders said they would only support Gov John Bel Edwards to put $500 million toward a new Mississippi River bridge “if we have a target spot for it.”

“[The bridge project] should be farther along in the process than it is,” Schexnayder said earlier this month.

So the current governor (who is term-limited and whose term expires at the end of next year) wants to fund it and so do influential members of the legislature, but they want to make sure we have a good idea where we're putting it. So the will to build this thing exists to some degree, and the effort is building momentum.

By the way, we have a topic for the Shreveport Inner-City Connector. So this topic makes sense.

Quote
By the way, the next round of statewide elections in Louisiana comes up next year. That includes governor and every seat in the legislature. And there's that $6 billion we're getting for infrastructure. So there's a lot of incentive for the government and people who want to be in the government to start talking about it.
This sounds almost like someone running for road commissioner in Texas.

Please tell all of us how you, a resident of Texarkana, understand Louisiana politics better than me, a native of Louisiana and resident of south Louisiana for most of my life. Seriously. Please educate me so I make fewer mistakes.

I do not think a single legislative seat in Louisiana will be decided by the candidate's position on highway construction. ... The only variable is Hawks who would choose to not spend money  or more aptly not increase taxes period. Even said hawkish candidates would never vote against their local projects.
Now do the wide-open races for governor, lt. governor and other statewide offices. I doubt any office will be solely decided by any candidate's position on any specific project. We pretty much all agree that we want all of them built. The issue is how to use limited funds that don't cover everything. And that could come into play in some races. Especially because John Bel Edwards likes to play kingmaker and he'll surely put his clout towards his favorite candidates.
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armadillo speedbump

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2022, 12:37:56 PM »

I changed my vote to Memphis Deserves the Bridge, cuz Louisiana is cranky.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2022, 02:02:15 PM »

Court St., Rosedale Rd. or Beaulieu Ln. in Port Allen would all provide state highway access across the Mississippi River into Baton Rouge. Those would be my choices for a new river bridge.
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jbnv

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2022, 03:13:15 PM »

Court St., Rosedale Rd. or Beaulieu Ln. in Port Allen would all provide state highway access across the Mississippi River into Baton Rouge. Those would be my choices for a new river bridge.

I highly doubt that the state would build the new bridge through Port Allen. Look at the footprint needed for a bridge, even an arterial bridge. I doubt the people of Port Allen would tolerate part of their town being ripped apart for a bridge. Even barring that, on the east side you have to drop that thing into downtown or the state capitol complex.

This thing will almost certainly end up south of I-10. You can drop a line from the end of LA 415 curving into Baton Rouge, but that line tends to go through LSU. Route it north of LSU and activists will raise Cain about it tearing up a Black neighborhood. But as you go south from LSU, the river curves to the west, increasing the distance.

I can see dropping LA 415 all the way almost to Brusly before turning east, crossing the river and crossing undeveloped LSU land and merging into Brightside Rd. Even there, you're looking at development for the end of the bridge that may raise ire with local residents.

Another possibility is to move the bridge even further south, past Addis into an eastward curve in the river and connect to the end of Bluebonnet Blvd. If that happens, then the LA 415 extension will probably feed into LA 1 instead of crossing the river (though DOTD doesn't shy away from unneeded concurrences to extend a numbered route.)

We should be able to see all of the possibilities they are considering at the meetings in April.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2022, 10:21:09 PM »

Court St., Rosedale Rd. or Beaulieu Ln. in Port Allen would all provide state highway access across the Mississippi River into Baton Rouge. Those would be my choices for a new river bridge.

Yeah, right. Put a local street bridge right next to the I-10 bridge and connect it to the BTR local street system....how?

Also, the extension of LA 415 to LA 1 is designed to be the connection to the proposed south bypass bridge across the Mississippi River near Addis.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2022, 10:37:58 PM »

Quote

[...]

Quote
I think we can assume that Louisiana will build a new bridge over the Mississippi River since DOTD is going to be holding public meetings about it.
If public meetings by DOTD meant there would be imminent construction, the Shreveport ICC would have been finished years ago. The Acadian Throughway in Lafayette would be finished.
I can't imagine that Baton Rouge will not get at least one new bridge in the next TWENTY years.  That said, one of the options discussed in these hearings is a no-build option.
Hearings and public meetings really are just PLANNING tools, not actual progress toward construction. It does mean that DOTD has this project on the radar. It certainly does not mean funding will be available to put this project to the front of the line.


[...]


Ummm....the Acadian Thruway is in Baton Rouge. Don't confuse it with the Evangeline Thruway in Lafayette, which will be mostly consumed by the I-49 Lafayette Connector project. Also, the delay in the latter was more due to community pressure to modify that project to be more neighborhood friendly, in the face of the opposition there.

What delayed the ICC in Shreveport was the opposition in Allendale that forced them to first cancel attempts to extend I-49 beyond I-20 in the 1980's; and then to bring in the Loop It (LA 3132/I-220 West) alternative in the current study.


Public meetings are mostly to alert the public on the advancement of the process of design and environmental approval; they are a step in advancing projects. The fact that Gov JBE and the Legislature has placed a high priority on projects like the Lafayette Connector, I-10 in BTR, the ICC, and the new BTR bridge does give them additional boosts for ultimate funding for finishing the design and construction. With the infrastructure bill and the diversion of COVID relief funds, there is a stream of money they can use to get them at least started, if not finished. It's pretty obvious that even when the widening of I-10 is completed, there will still be a need for a bypass as a relief route for I-10/I-12 traffic.

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jbnv

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2022, 11:00:47 AM »

The fact that Gov JBE and the Legislature has placed a high priority on projects like the Lafayette Connector, I-10 in BTR, the ICC, and the new BTR bridge does give them additional boosts for ultimate funding for finishing the design and construction. With the infrastructure bill and the diversion of COVID relief funds, there is a stream of money they can use to get them at least started, if not finished.

If the governor, the legislature and our Congressional delegation can get their act together and work as a team, they could go to Washington and get funding specifically for the I-10 corridor projects (through BR, new bridge/BR bypass and the Calcasieu River bridge). A large portion, if not the majority, of the traffic on the trans-Louisiana corridor is coming from outside the state and/or going to points outside the state. The state shouldn't have to bear the entire burden of maintaining a vital national corridor. We're seeing with hurricane relief that getting our act together and presenting a unified front can reap dividends in Washington.

This is what this has to do with the upcoming elections (Congressional this year, statewide next). I'm no fan of Edwards but I would say he's done a decent job of representing Louisiana on the Congressional stage and with both a Republican president and a Democrat president. I want a governor who can go to the national stages, not act the fool and embarrass us, and do business with the rest of the country for Louisiana's benefit.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2022, 01:14:37 PM »

You could actually make a strong case for adding I-49 South to that request. Given the inflation and our country's continuing dependency on fossil fuels, and the fact that a lot of goods and services flow through the South Louisiana ports connected by US 90 between Lafayette and NOLA, getting heavy truck traffic off the Evangeline Thruway in Lafayette and having a continuous freeway route through Lafayette via I-49 may be almost as critical as maintaining I-10 as the principal W-E freeway corridor.


A lesser case on those grounds exists for the I-49 ICC through Shreveport because the Inner Loop already exists. Not saying that project isn't wanted or needed, of course.

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jbnv

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2022, 10:47:36 AM »

The Advocate has released a graphic of the potential crossings and connecting routes.  Some interesting points:

  • All of the proposed sites are between the Horace Wilkinson and the Sunshine. So an arterial bridge into downtown BR is out of the question.
  • All of the proposed sites are at or south of Addis. So a bridge alongside and parallel to the Horace Wilkinson is out of the question. Ditto an arterial bridge into LSU.
  • Since all of these sites are so far south, a direct connection to I-10 west of BR is highly unlikely.

« Last Edit: April 05, 2022, 10:52:38 AM by jbnv »
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jbnv

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2022, 02:07:02 PM »

Looks also like the goal is to make a poor-man's bypass via LA 1, the new bridge and LA 30. Which isn't that bad of an idea if we get an expressway along LA 30 as well. We should make LA 70/22 an expressway from Donaldsonville to I-10 as well. At least that way there would be two ways to get from the "westbank" (not to be confused with The Westbank) to I-10 south to New Orleans without passing through Baton Rouge.
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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2022, 02:34:47 PM »

The fact that Gov JBE and the Legislature has placed a high priority on projects like the Lafayette Connector, I-10 in BTR, the ICC, and the new BTR bridge does give them additional boosts for ultimate funding for finishing the design and construction. With the infrastructure bill and the diversion of COVID relief funds, there is a stream of money they can use to get them at least started, if not finished.

If the governor, the legislature and our Congressional delegation can get their act together and work as a team, they could go to Washington and get funding specifically for the I-10 corridor projects (through BR, new bridge/BR bypass and the Calcasieu River bridge). A large portion, if not the majority, of the traffic on the trans-Louisiana corridor is coming from outside the state and/or going to points outside the state. The state shouldn't have to bear the entire burden of maintaining a vital national corridor. We're seeing with hurricane relief that getting our act together and presenting a unified front can reap dividends in Washington.

This is what this has to do with the upcoming elections (Congressional this year, statewide next). I'm no fan of Edwards but I would say he's done a decent job of representing Louisiana on the Congressional stage and with both a Republican president and a Democrat president. I want a governor who can go to the national stages, not act the fool and embarrass us, and do business with the rest of the country for Louisiana's benefit.
I have a question regarding a new Baton Rouge bridge. Is the point of a new bridge to provide locals another crossing, and is that for those in Baton Rouge or those south of the city? To increase capacity on I-10 and any additional freeway crossing?

I'm just looking to clarify the goal here. If the goal is to help those in BTR crossing the Mississippi, I don't see where a new bridge south of I-10 is going to help; something like connecting Gulf States Utilities Road to just north of Port Allen would make more sense. (This wouldn't be easy, but it's the only location I can see it even being possible.) A wider 8-10 lane I-10 bridge would be a better option if the idea is to increase the freeway capacity; a new five lane bridge could be built just north of the current bridge, then the current bridge could be torn down with another five lane bridge eastbound replacing it. It would be a pain during construction, but also would alleviate many of the traffic issues when complete. I'd consider isolating two through lanes on the inside each direction from west of LA 415 to the I-10/12 interchange. The only reason for a south of BTR bridge is to help those south of the city crossing the Mississippi. I'm not saying it's not needed; just saying the goal of relieving I-10 traffic may not be accomplished with any new bridge too distant to change driver habits.
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bwana39

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Re: Future Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2022, 02:56:12 PM »

Some of the comments are that LA-30 and LA-1 could EVENTUALLY be converted to a higher capacity road.  If that is a workable solution, any of the crossings make some sense. If either or both is unworkable (with minor adjustments or reroutes,) it doesn't seem to make any sense at all. ANY of them.... Baton Rouge needs to get the congestion off the I-10 bridge and the I-10/I-12 split. A freeway bypass would probably do this.

Surface roads might help the locals , but my guess it would primarily be a vehicle for expansion of Iberville and West Baton Rouge Parishes. East Baton Rouge Parish is all landed out except for swamp. The west bank here is prime for development... This bridge could benefit that tremendously. It would probably just make the Baton Rouge Freeway traffic worse without freeway lanes facilitating a bypass situation though.   

Baton Rouge (and Lafayette metro) area(s) are growing fast and it is likely that they will outgrow metro New Orleans within a few decades.  To push the sprawl toward the south is something that is probably going to happen. Has to happen if growth is to continue.
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Let's build what we need as economically as possible.

 


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