Travel outlook before you hit the road for Easter

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 11:16am

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 Easter holiday weekend (Friday, April 6 through Sunday, April 8).

DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas urged drivers to use extra caution when traveling on the roadways during the upcoming holiday, especially at railroad crossings.

Below is the regional listing of work schedules and road closures for interstate construction and major road projects.

Southeast Louisiana

In the New Orleans area, all lanes of I-10, I-310, I-510 and I-610 will remain open to traffic.

In the Slidell area, all lanes of I-10, I-12 and I-59 will remain open to traffic.

In the Hammond area, all lanes of I-12 and I-55 will remain open to traffic.

In East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes, all lanes of I-110, I-10 and I-12 will remain open. Drivers should note the reduced speed limit within the construction zones on I-10 and I-12.

Southwest Louisiana

In the Lafayette area, all lanes of I-10 and I-49 will remain open to traffic.

In St. Mary Parish, it is important to note that truck traffic greater than 15-25 tons is prohibited from traveling on the U.S. 90 Bayou Ramos Bridge in Morgan City. The temporary detour for trucks traveling westbound will include U.S. 90 to La. 662 (Exit 182) to La. 182 to U.S. 90. The temporary detour for trucks traveling eastbound will consist of U.S. 90 to La. 182 (La. 182/ La. 70 exit) to La. 662 to U.S. 90.

In Vermilion Parish, La. 92 will be closed at Vermilion/Acadia parish line.

In the Lake Charles area, all lanes of I-210 will remain open to traffic.

Drivers should note that the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge is restricted to one lane in each direction for ongoing bridge repair work.

Central Louisiana

During Easter weekend, there will be several closures on I-49 throughout central Louisiana.

In Rapides Parish, there will be intermittent lane closures on the elevated portions of I-49 between Sugarhouse Road and Airbase Road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Additionally, I-49 will have alternating lane closures in both directions between the MacArthur Drive Interchange and Airbase Road from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. Lastly, the southbound lanes of I-49 will have alternating closures daily just south of the Woodworth exit.

Also, in Rapides Parish, the right, southbound lane of U.S. 167 (Pineville Expressway) will remain closed from the south junction of La. 3225 to the north junction of La. 3225.

In Natchitoches Parish, one southbound lane of I-49 will remain closed between La. 6 and La. 478 and one northbound lane will remain closed near La. 478.

In Vernon Parish, at the Bayou Zourie Bridge in Pickering, the northbound travel lanes on U.S. 171 will be closed. Both northbound and southbound traffic will utilize the southbound lanes.

Northeast Louisiana

In the Monroe area, all lanes of I-20 will remain open to traffic.

Northwest Louisiana

In the Shreveport-Bossier City area, all lanes of I-20, I-220 and I-49 will remain open to traffic.

Oversize/overweight vehicle movement

Secretary LeBas announced that all oversize and overweight vehicle movement on all state highways will be prohibited from Friday, April 6 to Sunday, April 8.

LeBas said the decision was made in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety’s Office of State Police to provide maximum safety for motorists traveling on state highways during the holiday. The Department’s Truck Permit Office will also be closed on Friday, April 6.

LA Swift Bus Service

LA Swift, the bus service that provides coach bus rides between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, will run its Saturday schedule on Friday, April 6 and operate its normal schedule on Sunday, April 8.

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 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The bus service makes stops in Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Sorrento, LaPlace, Kenner and New Orleans.

Further information

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.

Traffic cameras for the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Hammond/Northshore, Houma, Lake Charles, Monroe/West Monroe, New Orleans, Shreveport/Bossier and surrounding 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 business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Customer Service Center will be closed Friday, April 6.

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.

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