Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development speaks on interstate conditions during inclement weather

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MONROE, La (KTVE/KARD) — The Department of Transportation and Development says say right now they’re at a standstill after they did what they could to prepare the highways and interstates with salt and sand Saturday and Sunday, prior to the storm on Monday. As they prepare for another storm tomorrow, they say it’s not looking like highways will be open until Friday.

“When conditions deteriorated especially late Sunday into Monday we got to a point where it was no longer smart, feasible, a strategic use of the resources to continue to have crews out,” said Erin Buchanan, Public Information Officer Louisiana DOTD.

Buchanan says once the temperatures and accumulation reach a limit, the salt, and other resources no longer become effective for the roads. Now they’re tring to ration the resources they do have before the storm, Wednesday.

“We need to make sure that we are in a position to where once we get on the other side of that and conditions improve to the point where we can resume salt dispensing operations that we have plenty on hand for that,” said Buchanan.

As of Tuesday afternoon, DOTD has crews on standby to clear roads only responding to major calls like a fallen tree or extreme circumstances. We asked Buchanan about the possibility of using a snowplow or something similar to that to help the roads but she says, “It’s not really an investment that’s economically feasible for us because we could go another 10 years and not see another snow or ice event,” said Buchanan.

When it comes to clearing major interstate roads and highways, Buchanan says they’re using their resources as best as possible, but at this point, it’s a waiting game until every road is open again.

“The priority routes like I-20 and that sort of thing we’re still seeing traffic on it and of course 100% of traffic off of it is not realistic. 18 wheelers still have to travel goods and services and essential workers that have to get where they need to go so having traffic on there will help,” said Buchanan.

Buchanan says the problem they’re facing right now is normally if we have a snowstorm the weather would be warm enough the next day–but this time we had a snowstorm, cold weather, and now we’re looking at another storm for tomorrow pushing the time frame of reopening back.

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