LA 1-X Cane River Bridge (Church Street)

Project Details
State Proj. No.: H.001271
Cost: Approximately $11.5 million
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The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is proposing to replace the LA 1-X Cane River Bridge (Church Street) in the downtown area of the City of Natchitoches, in Natchitoches Parish (State Project H.001271).

DOTD in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has completed the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1970.

The purpose of the project is to address the structural and functional deficiencies of the existing Cane River Bridge at Church Street, built in 1936, as well as the adjacent intersections. The need for the project will:

  • Replace the existing Cane River Bridge
  • Improve congestion
  • Improve existing queues
  • Improve the intersection geometry of Church Street/St. Claire Avenue/Williams Avenue

The EA has addressed/completed the following tasks as part of the required process:

  • Identified and evaluated alternatives to meet the purpose and need for the project
  • Studied impacts from the alternatives on human, social, natural, and cultural environments
  • Evaluated alternatives developed as part of this EA and the associated environmental consequences according to the NEPA, DOTD’s Stage 1 Planning/Environmental Manual of Standard Practice, and FHWA Guidance for Preparing and Processing Environmental & Section 4(f) Documents
  • Identified a Preferred Alternative (Alternative 1)

Two public meetings and a public hearing have been held (December 2017, November 2018, and December 2019) in Natchitoches to provide updated project information to interested parties and receive input from the public to be included in the official record of the EA. 

The Preferred Alternative (Alternative 1) will replace the existing Cane River Bridge on a skewed alignment. This alternative ties the east end of the Cane River Bridge directly into St. Claire Avenue, eliminating the existing offset intersection. In addition, a temporary bridge is proposed at Touline Street so that traffic is redirected temporarily.

The Preferred Alternative (Alternative 1) meets the following criteria:

  • Satisfies the Purpose and Need for the project
  • Maintains traffic and emergency services access throughout the construction process
  • Reduces congestion and improves queuing along the bridge
  • Improves the intersection geometry of Church Street/St. Clair Avenue/Williams Avenue
  • Provides an overall enhancement, or “net benefit”, to the Rue Beauport Riverfront Park following construction
  • Improved accessibility and traffic flow in the area by providing a dedicated center turn lane
  • Ensures two lanes of travel to be open throughout the entire duration of construction, which minimizes impacts to traffic
  • Addresses public input
  • Meets required state and federal guidelines

The Environmental Assessment was approved by the FHWA, and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued, effectively completing the environmental process. At this time, the project is scheduled to go to bid in Fiscal Year 2026-2027, though letting dates can and often do change based on a number of factors. The project is estimated to cost approximately $11.5 million.

For more information regarding the EA and to access available reports, click here

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