Mardi Gras

DOTD issues travel advisory for Mardi Gras holidays

Posted: Feb 5, 2013 10:37 AM by Melissa Canone
Updated: Feb 5, 2013 11:52 AM

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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 during the Mardi Gras holidays from Friday, February 8 to Tuesday, February 12.

DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas said, "Our department would like to remind motorists to engage in safe driving practices by obeying all traffic laws. This means paying attention to posted speed limits, specifically in construction zones, wearing your seatbelt and refraining from drinking while driving."

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

Southeast Louisiana

Since the Super Bowl, all lane closures on major roadways and interstates, including I-10, I-310, I-510 and I-610, in the vicinity of the French Quarter and transportation hubs, have been suspended until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13, in anticipation of heavy traffic.

The Huey P. Long Bridge in New Orleans will continue with its normal night closures on Friday evening, February 8, until Saturday morning, February 9. These closures are from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on the westbank-bound direction and 1:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. on the eastbank-bound direction.

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

In St. Tammany Parish, I-59 from the I-10/I-12/I-59 interchange in Slidell north to the Mississippi State line will continue to have intermittent lane closures; however, one lane will remain open at all times in each direction.

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

In Livingston and East Baton Rouge parishes, there are no planned lane closures on I-12.

In Baton Rouge, lane closures will continue for the Geaux Wider projects on I-10 between the I-10/I-12 split and Highland Road. Drivers should note that one lane will remain open in each direction at all times and should pay attention to the reduced speed limits within the construction zone. Drivers are encouraged to visit www.GeauxWider.com for the latest closure information.

In addition to lane closures on I-10, several nightly ramp closures associated with the widening work are scheduled to occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. during the Mardi Gras holidays. Eastbound ramp closures include the Siegen Lane exit, Mall of Louisiana entrance and exit and Bluebonnet Boulevard exit. Westbound ramp closures include the Essen Lane entrance and exit and the Highland Road entrance and exit.

Also, in East Baton Rouge Parish, U.S. 190 (Florida Boulevard) will have one lane closed in each direction from Foster Boulevard to U.S. 61 (Airline Highway) from 8 p.m. to 6 am. on Friday, February 8, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 9, and Sunday, February 10, and from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Monday, February 11, and Tuesday, February 12.

In Ascension Parish, drivers may experience single lane closures on La. 73 from I-10 to U.S. 61 (Airline Highway); however, one lane will remain open at all times.

Southwest Louisiana

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

In Lafayette Parish, St. Mary Street in Scott will remain closed for construction of a roundabout at its intersection with La. 93 (Apollo Road).

In St. Martin Parish, La. 686 will remain closed for a bridge replacement between Arnaudville and Cecilia.

In Acadia Parish, La. 1120 from La. 100 to La. 98 will close one lane and maintain traffic on the other during the Mardi Gras holidays.

In the Lake Charles area, all lanes of I-10 and I-210 will remain open to traffic.

Central Louisiana

In Winn Parish, U.S. 167 will detour just north of Winnfield for construction of the Dugdemona Bridge. Both northbound and southbound traffic will shift onto the two existing northbound lanes, requiring traffic to be reduced to one lane in each direction. Please pay attention to the posted speed reduction.

In Natchitoches Parish, during the Mardi Gras holidays, shoulder work on I-49 will require inside lane closures in both directions. Currently, lane closures are scheduled between La. 478 and La. 6 and just north of Lena to the Chopin exit. These closures are subject to change as this is a moving operation.


Northeast Louisiana

In the Monroe area, all lanes of I-20 will remain open to traffic, and there will be no lane closures on major routes in the area.

In Franklin Parish, construction will continue on La. 4, between the Caldwell Parish line to Fort Necessity.

In Tensas Parish, construction continues on U.S. 65, between the intersection of La. 128 and La. 607.

In Concordia Parish, construction continues on U.S. 84/U.S. 425 between Ferriday and Vidalia.

Northwest Louisiana

In Caddo Parish, I-20 westbound will be reduced to one lane between I-49 (Exit 17B) and Monkhouse Drive (Exit 13).

In DeSoto Parish, I-49 northbound will be reduced to one lane between the DeSoto/Natchitoches Parish line and U.S. 84 (Exit 172).

Oversize/overweight vehicle movement

Secretary LeBas announced that all oversize and overweight vehicle movement on all state highways will be prohibited in New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma, and New Roads on Saturday, February 9, through Tuesday, February 12. Specifically, the restricted areas include:

· Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes (including the interstates)

· Within the city limits of Lafayette, with the exception of I-10

· Within the city limits and surrounding area of New Roads

· Within the city limits and surrounding area of Houma

· Within the city limits and surrounding area of Lake Charles, with the exception of I-10 and I-210

LeBas said the decision was made in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety, Office of State Police, to provide maximum safety for motorists traveling during the holidays.

The Truck Permit Office will remain open Monday, February 11, and Tuesday, February 12, to issue permits outside of the restricted areas. Please call 1-800-654-1433 for information on permits.

LA Swift Bus Service

LA Swift, the bus service that provides coach bus rides between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, will run an adjusted schedule during the Mardi Gras holidays. Due to parade traffic, on Wednesday, February 6, through Friday, February 8, and on Monday, February 11, the 4:30 p.m. and the 5:25 p.m. departures at the Canal Street at St. Charles Avenue and the St. Charles Avenue at Poydras Street locations will instead depart from the Tulane Avenue at Loyola Avenue departure location. On Tuesday, February 12, LA Swift will operate on a "weekend" schedule.

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

Ferry Information

Ferry operations in the New Orleans area will be modified for the Mardi Gras holidays beginning Saturday, February 9, through Tuesday, February 12. Due to the anticipated high volumes of passengers utilizing the ferries, vessels may not be able to maintain an exact departure schedule; however, the first and final departure times will not be earlier than published.

Algiers Point/Canal Ferry

* February 9-10 - Service will be expanded by operating a second vessel from 4 p.m. until midnight.

o No motorized vehicles, including scooters, motorcycles, etc., will be allowed after 11:15 a.m.

* February 11-12 - Service will be expanded by operating a second vessel all day.

o On February 11, no motorized vehicles will be allowed after 11:15 a.m.

o On February 12, no motorized vehicles will be allowed all day.

Gretna Ferry

* February 9-10 - The pedestrian-only vessel will operate from 12:45 p.m. until midnight. First departure of each day begins at 12:45 p.m. from Gretna, and the final departures will be at 11:30 p.m. from Gretna and midnight from Canal Street.
* February 11-12 - The pedestrian-only vessel will operate from 6:30 a.m. until midnight. First departure of each day begins at 6:30 a.m. from Gretna, and the final departures will be at 11:30 p.m. from Gretna and midnight from Canal Street.

Before traveling, DOTD advises the public to visit www.dotd.la.gov/ferry/ for more information on the ferries and their status. Travelers can also follow the ferries on Twitter.com at Canal_Ferry, Chalmette_Ferry and Gretna_Ferry.

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 Tuesday, February 12. 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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