LAKE CHARLES, La. (KLFY) — The Louisiana Department of Transportation has announced a new $150 million mega-grant for upgrades to the Calcasieu River Bridge in Lake Charles.

The Interstate 10 Calcasieu River Bridge has stood tall for over 70 years. With a new multi-million dollar grant coming as the largest grant ever given to the state of Louisiana by the Department of Transportation, the much-needed replacement will be made to ensure more stability and safer travels for the future.

Governor John Bel Edwards and many other elected officials were present for the big announcement.

Governor Edwards said this is a big move for the entire country.

“A new bridge will not just be good for Southwest Louisiana [and] not just Louisiana but for the nation as a whole,” Governor Edwards said.

The Calcasieu River Bridge was built in the 1950s and has been a key part of transportation and development along the entire Interstate 10 passageway. With the help of the Bipartisan Infostructure Act being passed in November of 2021, this project is looking to bring many jobs and benefits to the Lake Charles area.

United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said, “This bridge project is going to lead to over 16,000 jobs. Companies are going to be required to submit plans for training and hiring from the local community to make sure the under-served populations get included in that opportunity.”

The replacement of the bridge is projected to meet the highest standards which have not been met for years.

“That new bridge is going to be wider, with six lanes, shoulders, a less steep approach, [and] improved on-ramps,” Buttigieg said. “Over the life span of that new bridge, it is estimated to save people over 115 million hours in travel time.”

There is currently no date set to begin upgrades to the bridge, DOTD ensures a decision will be made before the end of 2023.