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Old 11-22-2019, 07:08 AM   #1
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I-10 westbound Lake Charles LA 6AM to 9AM

I know that getting over the bridge weekday early morning westbound in Lake Charles on I-10 can be a bear during the morning rush. Is I-210 flow any better as an alternate and bypass for a 40 footer towing that time of morning??? How are the road surface conditions? Thanks for any thoughts.
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Old 11-22-2019, 02:10 PM   #2
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I-210 has recently started a redecking project, I can't say how far along it is, but I think it is mostly west of the bridge right now (I took I-210 from the east end to near the new casino area last weekend (Lake St exit) and it was mostly fine, but did not cross the bridge). There are lighted warning signs about I-210 construction all around the Lake Charles area at the moment. Note I live about 50 miles north of Lake Charles, but have been avoiding the I-10 and I-210 bridge when possible.


Going west into Texas I-10 can be a mess too between Beaumont and Houston, with much of the section between Beaumont and Winnie (about 17 miles) having concrete K-rail barriers lined up along both sides. I drove it eastbound day before yesterday on the way home from Houston during mid morning lighter traffic hours, going west to Houston I took Hwy LA12 / TX 12 to Vidor, then I-10 for about 12 miles to Beaumont then Hwy 90 to Houston arriving there at 5 pm. Hwy 90 was overall good, though traffic was a bit heavier than usual, likely due to lots of people trying to bypass the I-10 construction in Texas. Speed limit on Hwy 90 is similar to I-10, maybe a little slower in places, plus a couple of towns along the way, part of the route is 2 lane road, but much is divided 4 lane, though with narrower shoulders than I-10 in the non-construction areas. If you need fuel there are a few new nice big gas stations along Hwy 90, though they are all on the left side when west bound.
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Old 11-22-2019, 03:38 PM   #3
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Thanks Isaac-1:

Didn't know about the construction on I-210. Doesn't leave me much option other than to plow through westbound over the bridge on 10. We're planned for an overnight at the new KOA at Iowa LA . Guess we'll have to get up early and try to get over the bridge maybe between 5:30 and 6 in the AM

I long ago eliminated Houston from the the westward trek this trip. Cutting west on TX 105 out of Beaumont on the way to a landing in Austin. Done enough of Houston for a while and don't want to deal with all the construction in TX along 10 and the San Jac bridge. Lake Charles bridge will keep me busy enough LOL.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 11-22-2019, 04:11 PM   #4
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If you are spending the night in Iowa, LA and then on to TX 105 could take Hwy 171 up to Ragley then LA12 across to the Texas state line, Hwy 171 tends to back up some in the mornings in north Lake Charles, but that is mostly the southbound lanes. No big bridges that way, just one minor hump over the Calcasieu river in north Lake Charles, Hwy 171 is all 4 lane in that area with wide paved shoulders, near interstate quality highway once you get north of Lake Charles proper where it is 4-6 lanes non-divided with a turn lane , though not limited access. If you go that way, be aware the turn onto LA12 is a partial clover leaf, right turn exit. The only real town before you hit I-10 in TX on LA12 / TX12 is DeQuincy, which is about 8,000 people with 3 or 4 traffic lights, though be aware the road does a short angled zigzag curve where it passes the railroad museum, and hospital. The others are just small 1 traffic light intersections with a few businesses.


The choice of the routes is a coin toss due to added miles, though if you see traffic delay signs for the I-10 bridge as you enter Lake Charles, you might consider a last minute diversion up Hwy 171 which is often also marked as the I-10 detour route, though I don't know if the detour signs are up at the moment.


p.s. the San Jacinto bridge mess was not bad driving back from Houston at around 10 am a couple of days ago, it is still 2 lanes of traffic going both ways, with concrete K rails while the westbound span is being repaired from the barge collision. Just a slight traffic backup / slow down, maybe 3-5 minute delay. The good thing is the K rails do leave a bit of shoulder room and are not sitting right on the white / yellow lines like they are closer in to Beaumont, probably still wider than the I-10 bridge in Lake Charles, plus it is nearly flat.
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Old 11-22-2019, 06:15 PM   #5
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Great info! Many thanks!
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Old 11-22-2019, 08:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
If you are spending the night in Iowa, LA and then on to TX 105 could take Hwy 171 up to Ragley then LA12 across to the Texas state line, Hwy 171 tends to back up some in the mornings in north Lake Charles, but that is mostly the southbound lanes. No big bridges that way, just one minor hump over the Calcasieu river in north Lake Charles, Hwy 171 is all 4 lane in that area with wide paved shoulders, near interstate quality highway once you get north of Lake Charles proper where it is 4-6 lanes non-divided with a turn lane , though not limited access. If you go that way, be aware the turn onto LA12 is a partial clover leaf, right turn exit. The only real town before you hit I-10 in TX on LA12 / TX12 is DeQuincy, which is about 8,000 people with 3 or 4 traffic lights, though be aware the road does a short angled zigzag curve where it passes the railroad museum, and hospital. The others are just small 1 traffic light intersections with a few businesses...
i'm not the OP but we will be heading west on I-10 thru LA and TX on our way to AZ shortly. planned stops are in Baton Rouge, LA and San Leon, TX. 2-yrs ago WB 10 was in terrible shape thru LA especially from Lake Charles to the TX line. we took 210 to avoid the big bridge but the road was terrible.

i don't particularly care about miles if the road itself is better. so, how is 171/12 between Lake Charles and Beaumont?
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Old 11-22-2019, 08:26 PM   #7
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Overall it is a good road, long version to follow:



Hwy 171 is in fairly good shape, it was converted to a 4 lane divided highway in about 2006, much of it is concrete paving so is still in good shape, also some of the pavement on Hwy 171 has already been repaved in the last couple of years in the 15 or so miles north from I-10 where it has the heaviest traffic, Hwy 12 is variable ranging from fair to good, some of the Louisiana section has been recently repaved, though it is also in the early phases of being widened in Texas near where it meets I-10, though that construction there does not yet significantly interfere with travel as of this week, that may change in coming months though. The worst part of the pavement is probably the section going through and on the west side of the town of DeQuincy, but at least here the speed limit will be reduced to 35-45 mph, so it should not be too bad. I can't comment on the 15 mile section between Ragley and DeQuincy as I have not driven it in the last couple of years, though I think the section near the interchange with Hwy 171 in Ragley was repaved in the last year or two.


p.s. for getting to San Leon, I would considering turning at Winnie, and taking the ferry across to Galveston, it is the more scenic, less hectic route. These are fairly large ferries, no problem with an RV, they commonly load 18 wheelers on and can fit several end to end. The ferry is also Free. Alternatively TX 146 through Baytown is a good road, though you have a couple of miles of stop and go traffic lights before it turns into an expressway for much of the drive.
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:02 PM   #8
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thanks, Issac. appreciate all of that. sounds like if time/miles is not an issue 171/12 is the way to go.

if i may indulge...our next stop after san leon is kerrville. i'm planning either

- 146/96/I-45/I-10
- 146/96/I-45/I-610/I-10

and 2-yrs ago we took 1604 from I-10 around the north side of SA and ran smack dab into a hellish traffic jam where it merged back onto I-10. is 10 still under const in that area? would the wider/longer bypass, TX 46 between Seguin and Boerne be a better choice?

suggestions or comments?
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:47 PM   #9
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Houston is a mess, I610 on the south side is undergoing major construction near the TX medical center area (Hwy 288 interchange). The next loop out is Beltway 8, though it is a transponder tag only toll road and the now under construction Grand Parkway SH99 3rd loop out is not yet complete on the south side of Houston.


My choice for getting from San Leon to I-10 towards San Antonio would greatly depend on time and day of the week. There is not really a good option here, though be aware Houston inside the I-610 loop, maybe even inside beltway 8 is a ghost town on Sunday mornings, maybe even through mid afternoon. Saturday afternoons are also fairly good inside I-610. Lots of people from Houston head down to Galveston on the weekends via I-45, so southbound I-45 is bad on Fridays, and northbound I-45 to I-10 is bad on Sunday afternoon, and even a bit on Saturday afternoon due to day trippers.


As to San Antonio I try to avoid it if possible even the longer Seguin to Boerne bypass can be slow, I did it a couple of years ago, and it took hours, I did drive straight through SA on I-10 on my way home on a Sunday about 18 months ago, and it was not too bad. Though I tend to prefer bypassing the area completely along with bypassing Houston (of course my starting point is about 50 miles north of Lake Charles so cross country vs I-10 may make more sense for me) taking TX 105 across from Beaumont to Brenham, then 290 to Paige, then across to Bastrop, and 71 across back to 290 again where they meet back up on the west side of Austin. This allows me to make a stop in the hill country, usually Fredericksburg when I am passing through the region, though on my recent Grand Canyon Trip last month, I stopped in Llano on the way back instead taking 71 all the way from Llano to Bastrop. (there is a 96 pump Buc-ees gas station in Bastrop that I usually stop at even if I don't need fuel, so not as big as some of their newer stations, but still it is a convenience store the size of a typical Wal-Mart super center). Having driven both 71 and 290 west of Austin, I now feel 71 is the better road, though with perhaps more traffic and more slow downs.


Ike
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:09 PM   #10
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ike, we’ll be leaving San Leon on a sunday morning. we traversed Houston straight thru on I-10 2-yrs ago on a Sunday. road was busy but was moving at or above the posted limit. based on your comments i’m leaning towards option 2.

appreciate your help and advice.
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