80°F

Road Crews/State Police Prepare for Winter Weather

To keep the roads safe, Department of Transportation and Development crews said they'll work long hours in the coming days.

OUACHITA PARISH -- To keep the roads safe, Department of Transportation and Development crews said they'll work long hours in the coming days.

Originally, DOTD crews thought their trucks wouldn't even be scouting for icy roads until 10 p.m. Monday.

By that time, trucks had already been salting bridges for several hours.

"Overall, we're looking at 36-48 hours of possible icy conditions," said DOTD District Traffic Operations Engineer, John Eason.

That goes double for state police.

"We're going to have people monitoring. We'll have troopers out on the road all night long like we always do," said Trooper Albert Paxton with Louisiana State Police Troop F.

Salt trucks are gearing up to hit the streets, focusing first on bridges.

"Your elevated bridges, Louisiana 2 Bridge at Sterlington over the river, the I-20 Bridge across the Ouachita River, they get cold just a little bit quicker," said Eason.

In the Monroe district alone, the DOTD possesses 26 salt trucks carrying 500,000 lbs. of salt.

"80-100 people per shift for the nine parishes in our district and they run from noon to midnight shifts and we'll swap out and run another," Eason said.

State police urge drivers not to panic and drive with extra care.

"Make sure you leave enough room between you and the car in front of you, drive slower than you normally do. Try to anticipate stops," said Paxton.

Above all, both road crews and law enforcement said if you don't have to be out on Tuesday, don't.

"Avoid travel if they can," Eason said.

"I can't say it enough: If you don't need to drive, sleep in tomorrow morning. Stay home. Stay warm," said Paxton.







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