Ramp meter activation scheduled Tuesday at Essen Lane on-ramp to westbound I-12
Meter to operate from 6-10 a.m. weekdays
Baton Rouge, La. – The state’s first ramp meter is scheduled for activation Tuesday, June 8 from 6-10 a.m. on the Essen Lane on-ramp to westbound I-12. There will be no ramp meter for the Essen eastbound on-ramp to I-12.
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced that work on the state’s first interstate highway ramp meter system began last month, and will continue with the installation and construction of 15 more ramp meter locations through this summer.
The ramp meter signals will stop vehicles for about four seconds on the on-ramp and allow drivers to access the interstate in an orderly and evenly-spaced fashion, sometimes described as a "zipper effect." If the ramp meter is turned off, drivers should proceed without stopping. For Essen Lane, the ramp meter will only be utilized from 6-10 a.m. weekdays, and will be continually monitored by DOTD staff.
The ramp meter system will help reduce congestion, provide a safer merge for vehicles entering the interstate travel lanes, improve travel time reliability and complement the I-12 widening.
Ramp meter installation is currently occurring at Airline Highway (to eastbound and westbound I-12) and Jefferson Highway (to eastbound I-12), and will move west toward the Walker/LA 447 interchange.
Ramp metering facts:
Studies have shown that ramp meters increase safety by reducing crashes at on-ramps by an average of 30 percent.
More than 20 states in the nation use ramp meters, but this will be the first use of the traffic management system in Louisiana.
In a study of the I-12 corridor, the afternoon travel time is 48 minutes, with an average speed of 11 mph. After the combination of widening and ramp meters, some commuters will see commute times reduced to approximately 9 minutes, and travel speeds increase to 55 mph.
DOTD has stressed that the ramp meters will be continually monitored by DOTD personnel. If the system does not improve traffic flow, adjustments can and will be made.
What drivers can expect:
Westbound ramp meters will be activated first, then eastbound ramp meters, with Range and O’Neal eastbound being last. Prior to activation, the signal will be covered for several days and a Variable Message Sign (VMS) will notify motorists of the upcoming change.
The ramp meters will operate exclusively during peak travel times, 6-10 a.m. for westbound on-ramps and 2-7 p.m. for eastbound on-ramps, and during special events or incidents.
After the Essen Lane ramp meters are functioning, future installations will be announced to the public prior to activation, and drivers will notice the equipment being installed.
DOTD is offering to meet with interested groups and/or make presentations regarding the ramp meter system or the current Interstate 10/12 widening projects that are part of the Geaux Wider program. For more information on this project, visit www.GeauxWider.com or call Louisiana DOTD Customer Service at 1-877-4LA-DOTD (452-3683) 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The public may also access updated information on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeauxWider1) and Twitter (Twitter.com/GeauxWider).