Mississippi River crossing options narrowed to three Iberville Parish locations

Courtesy Louisiana DOTD
The three proposed bridge locations are shown in a DOTD photo.

Representatives with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and Atlas Technical Consultants recommended three of the previous ten alternatives for a new Mississippi River crossing between Baton Rouge and the Sunshine Bridge.

The three alternatives were presented to the Capitol Area Road and Bridge District (CARB-D). DOTD will now move forward with refined analysis of the three alternatives. This is needed to complete the federally required environmental impact study.

The three sites are all in Iberville Parish with connections on the west side of the river south of Plaquemine, and on the east side of the river in St. Gabriel.

“The fact that DOTD has held to the initial timeline of this project shows the commitment this administration has to making a new bridge a reality,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “It’s important to note that this entire process must be followed to receive federal approval and federal funds. As we move into the next stage, I encourage DOTD and CARB-D to continue to follow the federal regulations, keep the public informed, and make the best decision possible for the final location.”

DOTD held six public meetings at the end of April and in early May at six locations in the four impacted parishes. More than 2,200 public comments were received.

In a file photo, traffic crawls along the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge.

“The decision to select these three locations was based on all the information we have gathered in the past two years,” DOTD Secretary and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials President Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. said. “The narrowing decision considered traffic and environmental impacts, as well as public comments. This is a monumental milestone to narrow 32 possible sites down to these three. While this bridge has been needed and discussed for decades, this is the closest we have ever been to making this needed bridge a reality. This is yet another example of this administration’s dedication to infrastructure improvements.”

The legislature approved $300 million in the 2023 budget to help advance the bridge project. The balance of construction funding has yet to be identified; toll revenue estimates will be further developed to determine how much tolling could be used to offset the bridge costs.