Arches and pelicans will be the themes of the new bridge on Interstate 10 across City Park Lake, state officials announced Monday.

Both were the most popular choices based on an online poll launched earlier this year by the state Department of Transportation and Development.

The public was asked to pick among four bridge designs and three monument tower options.

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson said earlier that, if one bridge design got overwhelming support from the public, the state would go with it.

"I think the bridge is going to be spectacular," Wilson said.

He said the arches and pelicans were clear favorites of the public.

"And it wasn't anything that warranted going in a different direction in terms of costs or concept," Wilson said.

The public typically focuses on aesthetics.

Engineers want to know how the structure will hold up and how to build and maintain it.

The winning bridge option is called the "arched panel" concept and features arched and rectangular exterior panels and arches between the columns when viewed from beneath the bridge.

The pick for the monument tower pays tribute to the pelican motif references to the Louisiana state bird -- the brown pelican -- and the American white pelicans which flock to the lakes annually.

Option A bridge monument

Option A for the monument tower the will accentuate the Interstate 10 bridge crossing City Park Lake. This is one of four options being considered for the expansion of I-10 and the upgrading of the City Park and University Park lakes. The state Department of Transportation wants input on which design to build. DOTD is asking for people to vote on which of the four options they prefer.

It also gives a nod to the architectural style of State Capitol, which Wilson requested.

The bridge is part of the $1.1 billion widening of I-10 between La. Hwy. 415 in West Baton Rouge Parish and the I-10/12 split.

The scoop on state politics in your inbox

Get the Louisiana politics insider details once a week from us. Sign up today.

Officials said they want the bridge to serve as sort of a signature on the project since it is used by thousands of motorists daily.

The vote on which design to use was not a first.

Wilson said part of I-49 North and other roads and bridges sparked public input.

However, the ease of online voting makes the process simpler.

"I am really big on not just getting elected officials support and engagement but the public's engagement," he said.

Work on the bridge is expected to start in 2022.

Construction is set to take about five years.

Planning is underway on how to get east and west traffic across City Park Lake during the work.

Bridges are generally painted "Louisiana gray."

"Historically they wanted to pick one paint color because it was easy to maintain, easy to get, easy to use," Wilson said.

"You did not have to worry about how it would blend in."

Check back for more details.

         

Email Will Sentell at wsentell@theadvocate.com.