DOTD issues Mardi Gras travel advisory
Friday, February 05, 2010
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) today advised drivers of upcoming work schedules for interstate and major road projects throughout Louisiana for the Mardi Gras holiday (Friday, Feb. 12 through Tuesday, Feb. 16).
DOTD Secretary William D. Ankner, Ph.D., urged drivers to use extra caution when traveling on the roadways during the upcoming holiday weekend, especially at railroad crossings.
Below is the regional listing of work schedules and road closures for interstate construction and major road projects.
In the New Orleans area, all lanes of I-10, I-310, I-510 and I-610 will remain open during the holiday.
In the Slidell area, all lanes of I-10, I-12 and I-59 will remain open.
In the Hammond area and surrounding parishes, all lanes of I-12 and I-55 will remain open.
In East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes, all lanes of I-10 and I-12, respectively, will remain open.
Drivers should note that the speed limit has been reduced to 50 mph within the construction zones on I-10 and I-12.
In the Lafayette area, all lanes of I-10 and I-49 will remain open to traffic.
In St. Landry Parish, U.S. 190 over U.S. 71 will remain reduced to two-lane, two-way traffic on the westbound roadway since the eastbound bridge over U.S. 71 has been removed.
In the Lake Charles area, all lanes of I-10 and I-210 will remain open to traffic.
In the Alexandria area, all lanes of I-49 will remain open to traffic.
In Catahoula and Concordia parishes, construction will continue on U.S. 84 in the Jonesville area. Drivers may experience minor delays because of construction activity in this area.
In the Monroe area, all lanes of I-20 will remain open.
In Lincoln Parish, La. 146 is closed to thru traffic at a point approximately five miles west of U.S. 167 (Vienna) and one mile east of La. 151 (Goose Creek). The detour route is U.S. 167 North, La. 151 West, and La. 563 South.
In Madison Parish, the I-20 Mississippi River Bridge in Delta, La. will have one lane closed east and west bound due to ongoing construction.
In the Shreveport-Bossier City area and surrounding parishes, all lanes of I-20 and I-49 will remain open.
In Caddo Parish, I-220 will remain reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction between La. 173 (exit 5) and U.S. 71 (exit 7). Eastbound traffic on I-220 is being detoured to the westbound roadway between La. 173 and U.S. 71.
Motorists are advised that U.S. 371 in Webster Parish is under construction between La. 160 to La. 2 and also from La. 157 to the Arkansas State line.
Oversize/overweight vehicle movement
Secretary Ankner announced today that all oversize and overweight vehicle movement on all state highways will be prohibited in the following areas on Tuesday, Feb. 16:
· Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes (including the interstates).
· Within the city limits of Lafayette, excluding I-10.
· Within the city limits and surrounding area of New Roads.
· Within the city limits and surrounding area of Houma.
· Within the city limits and surrounding area of Lake Chares, excluding I-10 and I-210.
Ankner said the decision was made in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety’s Office of State Police in order to provide maximum safety for motorists traveling on state highways during this holiday.
In addition, the westbound span of the I-10 “twin-span” bridge between Slidell and New Orleans is open to up to 12-foot permit loads until further notice. The weight limit for 18-wheelers traveling westbound is 80,000 pounds. The eastbound span is open to all loads. All other loads can use I-55.
DOTD’s Weights and Standards Office will be closed on Tuesday, Feb. 16, but the Truck Permits Office will remain open for the holiday. Please call 1-800-654-1433 for information on permits.
Travelers can access up-to-date information about weather-related road conditions, construction activities and other critical incidents by dialing 511 from their telephone. The voice-activated 511 Traveler Information System is available to most wireless and landline telephone users. Out-of-state travelers can access the system by calling 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information System Web site at www.511la.org.
LA Swift Bus Service
LA Swift, the bus service that provides coach bus rides between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, will operate on its weekend schedule on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Starting Thursday, Feb. 11 through Tuesday, Feb. 16, no New Orleans Park & Ride stops will be made after 4 p.m. at the following locations:
· Canal St. and St. Charles Ave.
· St. Charles Ave. and Poydras St.
The New Orleans Park & Ride stops will resume as scheduled on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
Please note that all evening routes may be delayed due to traffic caused by parades.
Schedules and further details are available at www.laswift.com and through LA Swift’s Customer Service Center at (877)-94-SWIFT (1-877-947-9438). The center’s hours of operation are 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The bus service makes stops in Baton Rouge, Sorrento and LaPlace in addition to express service between the CATS Florida Street terminal and the Elk Place stop in New Orleans.
More detailed information on the status of DOTD construction projects and road closures may be obtained via the Traveler Information link from DOTD’s Web site, www.dotd.la.gov.
Traffic cameras for the Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Walker, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Shreveport/Bossier City, Houma, LaPlace and New Orleans areas also may be viewed from the 511 site.
DOTD’s Customer Service Center representatives can answer questions about road closures not listed above or any other DOTD-related questions. Please call (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683) with questions. The center’s normal business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Customer Service Center will be closed Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Finally, drivers are encouraged to tune in to local radio stations for current traffic and incident information prior to traveling.
Drivers who notice road hazards, such as potholes or debris in the road, are urged to call DOTD’s statewide, toll-free Highway Safety Hot Line at 1-800-259-HWAY (4929). The automated system operates 24 hours a day and routes callers to the appropriate field office to report hazardous conditions.