Four months of construction work will begin Saturday on the I-10 bridge in Lake Charles. DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallet says 8.5 million dollar project will initially close the inside eastbound lane so crews can replace expansion joints on the nearly 60-year-old structure.

“The limits of the work are going to be from the west side of the Calcasieu river bridge to Opelousas street in Lake Charles. So, it’s more than just the bridge work. It’s that whole elevated section work.”

The joints need to replaced because the I-10 Lake Charles bridge will take on more traffic when a re-decking project gets underway on I-210.  Mallett says it’s also just time to replace the joints, because they’ve been known to go out over the years.

“We have to make repairs on that section regularly and close lanes... and it’s emergency closures, so you don’t have a big notice and we go out there and make these repairs.”

Yahoo Travel in 2013 rated the bridge the number 7 “Most Dangerous Bridge in the Country”, due to the wear and tear 72,000 cars put on it daily.  Mallet says this work will make the bridge stronger and safer.

“This stretch… it’s been there for almost 60 years and is in dire need of repair. It’s work that needs to be done to ensure the life of that bridge.”

Motorists are advised to use I-210 as a detour while work takes place. Additionally, drivers can use LA 12 via LA 27 and US Highway 171.