Construction near the intersection of Johnston Street and E Broussard in Lafayette has some frustrated on the inconvenience it’s bringing to the area.
You will no longer be able to make a left turn while using this intersection, and people in the area tell us they’re upset about the changes.
The project consists of adding 33 J-Turns from the Vermilion Parish line to Ambassador. Three of those will be near E Broussard. The project will also help with draining and widening Johnston St.
Officials say the ongoing 2- to 3-year project is being put in place to manage left turns due to increased accidents in the area.
Business owners in the area say this could potentially be harmful for the economy because it makes it harder for people to access certain businesses.
“Places that run a business off of convenience like a gas station or a convenient store will have more of a hindrance because having to loop around to come back into it, then having to loop around to go back the other way could create a lot of issues as far as that goes," one business owner said.
Assistant District Administrator of Engineering at DOTD, Michael DeSelle, says although it may seem like an inconvenience for some, installing the J-Turns actually decrease the amount of accidents in the area by half and decreases the amount of time people are waiting at stop lights.
“We find that the impact in time, the inconvenience factor, is negligible when you look at the safety benefits," DeSelle explained.
Questions are also raised on why other options of constructions were not used other than the J-turns.
DeSelle says studies in the past show J-Turns with signals are the most effective and safe.
“We’re able to more efficiently use the traffic signals because we have less turning movements. which in turn moves traffic not only along Johnston but also along E. Broussard more efficiently.”
The project is about 50 percent complete and is expected to be completed in Fall of 2022.
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