DOTD celebrates groundbreaking of Nelson Road Bridge and Extension Project
Monday, February 13, 2023 at 6:45:40 PM
Lake Charles – DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. joined state and local officials last week to celebrate the groundbreaking of an upcoming project to extend Nelson Road and build a bridge over Contraband Bayou in Calcasieu Parish.

Once the contract is finalized, work on this $101.7 million project is anticipated to begin by the summer of 2023. The construction stretches over one mile. Once complete, the new bridge will connect the heavily-traveled Nelson Road to West Sallier Street.

The project will also include an access road to the Port of Lake Charles, a major economic driver for Southwest Louisiana.

DOTD and the Port of Lake Charles will also work to relocate an existing railroad that is currently owned by the port. The city of Lake Charles will also work on improvements along West Sallier Street, a local roadway located just north of Contraband Bayou.

“Extending Nelson Road and building a bridge over Contraband Bayou will make it easier for motorists to access Lake Charles’ downtown district and will improve access to the Port of Lake Charles,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “This long-awaited project will greatly benefit a regularly traveled area of Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish that continues to see growth.”

“This Nelson Road bridge project is a much needed economic infrastructure asset for two reasons," said Sen. Mark Abraham. “Number one, the Port of Lake Charles will have an efficient and direct access for truck traffic and number two, this bridge will be a connector between South Lake Charles and the lakefront, creating increased development. I would like to thank DOTD and all the persons involved for finally making this bridge a reality.”

“This is an awesome project, many years in the making,” said Rep. Phillip Tarver. “This is important to our entire community as a key component to tying together South and North Lake Charles, and it will become even more important in the future with the completion of the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge. Thanks to all who had a part in advancing this important connector route over the many years it has taken to get us here.”

“We are very excited to get this project off the ground,” said Rep. Brett Geymann. “It will greatly improve traffic congestion and be very beneficial for our communities.”

“This groundbreaking is years in the making, and we are absolutely thrilled to be here today with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development,” said Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. “We appreciate this partnership greatly. This investment will ease traffic congestion at one of our busiest interchanges and open the door for future development. This project will open a new gateway to downtown Lake Charles.”

“This project has been in the works for some time, and the Port of Lake Charles is happy to partner with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and the City of Lake Charles to move a portion of the rail to the north side of Sallier Street as well as provide 18 acres of ROW for the bridge and road expansion,” said Thomas Lorenzi, Port of Lake Charles Board President.

The project’s contractor is the Grapevine, Texas-based Johnson Brothers Construction. This project is expected to be completed by 2026, weather depending.