BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced plans to reinstall the original westbound lane configuration on the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge.
The approximate cost of the project is $68,000, and it is scheduled to begin in mid-September 2011. The restriping work will be included in a previously scheduled project to replace overhead signage on the bridge to comply with new federal signage requirements.
This work will require nighttime westbound lane closures on Sept. 13 - 15, between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. During these times, traffic will be limited to one lane of travel on I-10 Westbound from the I-10/ I-110 split to the La. 1 exit in West Baton Rouge Parish. Additionally, the La. 1 exit ramp will be closed for approximately three hours on the night of Sept. 13 between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Once the change is implemented, all I-10 westbound traffic across the Mississippi River Bridge exiting to Port Allen and Plaquemine will again be able to use the center and right lanes. As before, drivers in the center lane will also have the option to continue on I-10 westbound across the bridge. The left lane will continue to serve bridge through traffic.
The current lane configuration was implemented in August 2010 as part of the I-10 Mississippi Bridge signing and striping project, and was designed to improve traffic flow on the bridge to allow for more balanced traffic volumes across all three westbound lanes on the bridge.
At the request of Louisiana Legislature, DOTD reviewed traffic flow across the bridge since the changes were put in place. After monitoring traffic on the bridge and evaluating data, a DOTD study found that there was no significant improvement to overall traffic flow across the bridge. The study found slightly improved travel times for traffic on I-10 continuing across the bridge, but not for traffic exiting for Port Allen/ Plaquemine.
In the future, DOTD may revisit the use of the current lane configuration if it is determined that increases in I-10 traffic volumes across the bridge warrant a redistribution of traffic volumes.
Additional work involving bridge lane closures
Also in September, DOTD will be performing routine bridge inspections for the bridge on I-10 at Dalrymple and the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge. Both projects will require some weekend lane closures.
DOTD has scheduled these closures so that they will not take place on game days for LSU or Southern University football games.
On Sunday, Sept. 11, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 a.m., DOTD will perform routine bridge inspection work on I-10 at Dalrymple. During this time, eastbound and westbound travel will be limited to two lanes, in order for work to be performed.
DOTD will perform routine bridge inspection work on the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge on Sunday, Sept. 18, Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. On Sept. 18 and Sept. 24, the outer right lane will be closed to westbound travel, in order for work to take place. On Sept. 25, the outer right lane will be closed for eastbound travel. During this work, the westbound Nicholson on-ramp will be closed. Traffic can instead use the Florida Street on-ramp. All other entrance and exit ramps will remain open during inspection work.
DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through the construction site. Be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate
economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.