MONROE – As roadways and bridges remain impacted by freezing conditions throughout northeast Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development continues to use its resources and manpower to maintain primary routes.
Priority salting operations for northeast Louisiana include I-20, U.S. 165, U.S. 167, U.S. 425, U.S. 80, U.S. 65. DOTD crews continue to salt bridges and elevated roadways along these major routes.
Forecasts show freezing conditions could last throughout the night and into Thursday morning in some areas. Additionally, slowly rising temperatures are not an immediate indicator of the change in the status on a roadway or bridge. After an extended period of time of below freezing temperatures and frozen precipitation, it may take a while for some roads to thaw.
DOTD advises that travelers who must get on the roadways use extreme caution.
At this time these roadways remain closed by DOTD:
- (Restricted) U.S. 165 at the Riverton Overpass has the right lane closed in both directions
- I-20 Pecanland Mall Fly Ramp
- Endom Bridge over the Ouachita River (La. 3280)
- I-20 West – Calypso Street Entrance Ramp
- I-20 West – St. John Street Entrance Ramp
- I-20 East – Layton Street Exit Ramp
- U.S. 165 Business – Lea Joyner Expressway
- I-20 East – Stella/Mill Fly Ramp
- I-20 East – 5th Street Entrance Ramp
- I-20 West – 5th Street Entrance Ramp
- La. 546 Overpass over KCS Railroad (south of I-20)
- I-20 Westbound – S. 2nd St/Layton St Exit 117D Ramp
- I-20 Eastbound - Hall St Exit 117A Ramp
- I-20 Eastbound – Layton St Entrance Ramp
- I-20 Eastbound - 5th St Exit 116A Ramp
- I-20 Westbound - 5th St Exit 116A Ramp
- La. 546 Overpass over I-20
- La. 2 Sterlington Bridge over the Ouachita River
As temperatures begin to rise, crews will be monitoring weather and roadway conditions to determine when it is safe to re-open impacted roadways.
DOTD would like to remind motorists to stay off the roads until it is safe to travel. Travel could be treacherous. Motorists should be mindful that icy conditions may still be present.
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information Web site at www.511la.org.
- If you must drive, even on roads that are open, use extra caution. During winter weather conditions, motorists should follow these five safety tips:
- Drive slowly, carefully, and avoid driving while distracted
- Allow for extra driving time
- Reduce speeds when visibility is low
- Make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles
- Look out for black ice---a thin, transparent layer of ice accumulation that can be visually hard to detect on bridges, overpasses, off-ramps and in shady spots.
As always, DOTD reminds motorists to buckle up and refrain from drinking and driving. In addition, motorists need to be on the look-out for DOTD and other work vehicles applying de-icing material to area bridges and overpasses.
Additionally, motorists can utilize the new "Way to Geaux" application to receive real-time, around the clock travel alerts. The hands-free, eyes-free smartphone application can be downloaded on any iPhone or Android device by visiting either the iTunes App Store, or Google Play.
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