Dec 18, 2009 9:15 AM by Rob Kirkpatrick

DOTD Releases Holiday Travel Warnings

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 for Christmas weekend (Thursday, Dec. 24 through Sunday, Dec. 27) and for New Year's weekend (Thursday, Dec. 31 through Sunday, Jan. 3).


DOTD Secretary William D. Ankner, Ph.D., urged drivers to use extra caution when traveling on the roadways during the upcoming holiday weekend, especially at railroad crossings.


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


Southeast Louisiana


In the New Orleans area, all lanes of I-10, I-310, I-510 and I-610 will remain open during the holiday weekend.


In Grand Isle, the northbound lane of the La. 1 Caminada Bridge is closed for repairs until further notice. Flagmen will be present to direct traffic; no delays are expected.


In the Slidell area, all lanes of I-10, I-12 and I-59 will remain open.


In the Hammond area and surrounding parishes, all lanes of I-12 will remain open.


In St. John the Baptist Parish, I-55 southbound at Ruddock to U.S. 51 in LaPlace is reduced to one lane. The detour is to exit at Ruddock (exit 7), south to the I-55 Service Road and exit at LaPlace (exit 1).


In the Baton Rouge area, all lanes of I-12 and I-10 will remain open.


Construction on I-12 will be suspended between O'Neal Lane in Baton Rouge and Range Avenue in Denham Springs for the holiday weekends. Drivers should note that the speed limit has been reduced to 45 miles per hour within the construction zone on I-12.


Southwest Louisiana


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


In St. Landry Parish, U.S. 190 over U.S. 71 will remain reduced to two-lane, two-way traffic on the westbound roadway since the eastbound bridge over U.S. 71 has been removed.


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


Central Louisiana


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


Northeast Louisiana


In Catahoula and Concordia parishes, construction will continue on U.S. 84 in the Jonesville area. Drivers may experience minor delays because of construction activity in this area.


In the Monroe area, all lanes of I-20 will remain open.


In Lincoln Parish, La. 146 is closed to thru traffic at a point approximately five miles west of U.S. 167 (Vienna) and one mile east of La. 151 (Goose Creek). The detour route is U.S. 167 North, La. 151 West, and La. 563 South.


Northwest Louisiana


In the Shreveport-Bossier City area and surrounding parishes, all lanes of I-20 and I-49 will remain open.


In Caddo Parish, I-220 will remain reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction between La. 173 (exit 5) and U.S. 71 (exit 7). Eastbound traffic on I-220 is being detoured to the westbound roadway between La. 173 and U.S. 71.


In Bossier Parish, La. 3 (Benton Road) between U.S. 80 and I-220 will be closed from Saturday, Dec. 26, through Monday, Dec. 28, for railroad crossing work.


Also in Bossier Parish, La. 3105 (Airline Drive) will be closed from Tuesday, Dec. 29, through Wednesday, Dec. 30, for railroad crossing work.


Oversize/overweight vehicle movement


Secretary Ankner announced today that all oversize and overweight vehicle movement on all state highways will be prohibited Friday, Dec. 25, through Sunday, Dec. 27, and Friday, Jan. 1, through Sunday, Jan. 3, in observance of the holidays.


Ankner said the decision was made in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety's Office of State Police in order to provide maximum safety for motorists traveling on state highways during this holiday.


In addition, the westbound span of the I-10 "twin-span" bridge between Slidell and New Orleans is open to up to 12-foot permit loads until further notice. The weight limit for 18-wheelers traveling westbound is 80,000 pounds. The eastbound span is open to all loads. All other loads can use I-55.


DOTD's Weights and Standards Office and Truck Permit Office will be closed Thursday and Friday, Dec. 24-25, and Friday, Jan. 1.


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


LA Swift Bus Service


LA Swift, the free bus service that provides coach bus rides between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, will not run on Christmas Day, and will run its normal weekend schedule on Saturday, Dec. 26 and Sunday, Dec. 27. On Friday, Jan. 1, LA Swift will run its Sunday schedule.


Schedules and further details are available at and through LA Swift's Customer Service Center at (877)-94-SWIFT (1-877-947-9438). The LA Swift Customer Service Center will be closed Friday, Dec. 25. The center's normal hours of operation are 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


The bus service makes stops in Baton Rouge, Sorrento and LaPlace in addition to express service between the CATS Florida Street terminal and the Elks Place stop in New Orleans.


Further information


More detailed information on the status of DOTD construction projects and road closures may be obtained via the Traveler Information link from DOTD's Web site,


Traffic cameras for the Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Walker, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Shreveport/Bossier City, Houma, LaPlace and New Orleans 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 normal business hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Customer Service Center will be closed Thursday and Friday, Dec. 24-25, and Friday, Jan. 1.


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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