BATON ROUGE – Department of Transportation and Development crews restriped a section of Interstate 12 eastbound recently to create an “exit-only” outside lane at O’Neal.
The change to the eastbound outside travel lane on I-12 at O’Neal is expected to reduce congestion and, thus, improve safety as three interstate lanes merge into two en route toward Denham Springs, according to Charles Adams, DOTD traffic engineering management administrator.
Two message boards will provide warnings of the change to rush-hour travelers – one at Essen at I-12 and the other between Sherwood Forest Boulevard and Millerville Road.
Ramps at Millerville Road and O’Neal Lane were closed for overnight work Thursday night. Traffic also was reduced to one lane between Sherwood Forest Boulevard and O’Neal Lane overnight, Adams said.
Before the project, the outside eastbound lane was a through-lane and an exit lane; the middle lane was a through-lane; and the inside lane dropped when the interstate switched to two lanes. Adams said traffic studies indicated considerable congestion as some drivers tried to exit on the outside through-lane while other drivers tried to merge from the inside lane. The reconfiguration will mean through-traffic will use the left inside lane and middle lane while exiting traffic will use the right outside lane.
An additional benefit of the outside lane becoming an “exit-only” lane is its ability to better handle movie traffic that occasionally backs up the ramp, Adams said.