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Biden visit highlights infrastructure needs in Southwest Louisiana



LOUISIANA – President Joe Biden’s visit to Lake Charles put the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge and Lake Charles in the National spotlight. Even NBC late-night TV host Seth Meyers made a joke about Biden standing in front of the bridge.

“Let’s get to the news,“ he said. “President Biden visited a 70-year-old bridge in Lake Charles, Louisiana, today while pitching his jobs and infrastructure plan,” then, showing a picture of Biden with his signature smile. “Because if Biden’s proof of anything, it’s how much good a few thousand dollars in bridgework can do for you,” Meyers said.

Local leaders are pleased to have the I-10 bridge get National publicity. CEO and President of the Chamber SWLA and Alliance George Swift says he’s received calls from all over.

“We’re very excited about maybe the impact of that. I’ve heard from chambers of commerce all over the Nation that saw the coverage and congratulated us on the bridge. And I said, ‘Well, we haven’t gotten the money yet,’” said Swift.

Swift says Louisiana’s congressional delegation opposes Biden’s $2 trillion plan. But he hopes for compromise.

“They want a more refined and smaller infrastructure plan. We think maybe somewhere in the middle would be good, but let’s have a plan, let’s get some work done,” said Swift.

This coming week is “Infrastructure Week.” It’s a reminder of many other infrastructure projects needed.

“Road, bridges – we know that; but also, water systems, sewer systems, broadband is very important, the electric grid. All of the things we have to have every day to do business and live our lives,” said Swift.

The state has many projects in the works and a list of ten for which they plan to select the low bidder over the next 12 months.