LOTTIE, La. - Officials have reduced the speed limit on US 190 temporarily in the Atchafalaya Floodway area in an effort enhance the safety of the motoring public. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Agents have observed displaced wildlife on and near the elevated roadway and have requested the speed limit reduction.
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development officials have posted the new speed limit of 45 mph on variable message signs and are in the process of covering the existing speed limit signs and posting temporary 45 mph signs. The speed limit reduction is in effect currently and will remain in effect for as long as officials deem it necessary for safety. The section of US 190 where the lowered speed limit has been implemented is between Lottie and Krotz Springs, including the 4-mile bridge.
State Troopers and Deputies will continue patrolling the affected areas and closely monitoring roadway conditions. With rising water and wildlife looking for higher ground, officials expect more incidents of animals in the roadway. Troopers will be assigned to the reduced speed zone area to enhance public safety. It is vital that motorists pay attention to the roadway and follow the speed limits. Stopping on the shoulder is prohibited unless there is an emergency and slowing down to see the rising water or wildlife can cause a potential crash.
"Increased vehicle speeds when involved in collisions with wildlife equates to increased chances of serious injuries and even deaths. Our number one priority is public safety," said Captain Frank Ducote, Troop A Commander. "The 45 mph speed limit will give motorists more time to react and avoid collisions with wildlife that may run into their path."
LDWF urges citizens to minimize contact with animals while they seek temporary refuge from their flooded home range. Do not feed wild animals since this will encourage them to remain near a new food source when they should be allowed to find natural habitat and food sources on their own. As is the case with all wild animals, how they will react to humans in close contact situations is unpredictable. Do not stop to photograph animals as this may prompt them to move into flowing traffic.
If you need assistance with wildlife that endangers human health or safety, call the following LDWF field offices at:
For emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.
- Baton Rouge 225-765-2800
- Hammond 985-543-4777
- Monroe 318-343-4044
- New Iberia 337-373-0032
- Opelousas 337-948-0255
- Pineville 318-487-5885