LAKE CHARLES — The Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development provided an answer as to why contraflow on I-10 West is not being utilized in evacuations.
The answer comes as Southwest Louisiana is seeing a large swath of congestion overtaking I-10 West to the Louisiana Texas border. Many motorists say they have been stuck along the roadway for several hours, barely moving.
Some have resorted to turning around or using the shoulder of the roadway, leaving many concerned about their safety as Delta moves closer to Louisiana's coast.
Secretary Shawn Wilson says contraflow, which is when vehicles travel in the opposite direction of a lane's normal traffic flow, was discontinued in Southwest Louisiana after Gustav in 2008.
Ques regarding reason we have not implemented contraflow in SW LA. The state discontinued plans for contraflow in Southwest Louisiana after Gustav in 2008. After the state widened I-10to 6 lanes between US165 and I-210, the decision was made.@HilarieBurton @emosswilson— Shawn Wilson, Ph.D. (@onevisionary) October 9, 2020
He added if the program were still in place it would call for Eastbound movement, bringing people into the path of the storm. Delays, he says, are related to the volume of motorists on the roadway and not due to lane restrictions.
KATC has reached out to State Police on the issue of congestion along the Southwest I-10 stretch. Troopers say they are aware of the congestion and that it is advised that those evacuating take alternate routes like the ones in the map below.
A map of evacuation routes for DOTD can be viewed below:
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