Covering Louisiana

Jan 29, 2014 8:38 AM by Press Release

DOTD works to keep corridors open; roads remain icy after winter weather, hard freeze

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Transportation, along with other local and state partners, battled freezing temperatures and winter precipitation throughout the night to keep major corridors open. However, if you don't have to drive, don't. Travel will be slow and treacherous.

Even as the weather conditions improve, DOTD advises motorists to stay off the roads until it is safe to travel.

Motorists should be mindful that icy conditions may still be present. Additionally, slowly rising temperatures are not an immediate indicator of the change in the status on a roadway or bridge. After an extended period of time of below freezing temperatures and frozen precipitation, it may take a while for some roads to thaw.

Crews will continue to monitor conditions and will open roadways as they are deemed safe. DOTD will keep motorists updated throughout the day.

Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information Web site at www.511la.org.

If you must drive, even on roads that are open, use extra caution. During winter weather conditions, motorists should follow these five safety tips:

Drive slowly, carefully, and avoid driving while distracted
Allow for extra driving time
Reduce speeds when visibility is low
Make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles
Look out for black ice---a thin, transparent layer of ice accumulation that can be visually hard to detect on bridges, overpasses, off-ramps and in shady spots.

As always, DOTD reminds motorists to buckle up and refrain from drinking and driving. In addition, motorists need to be on the look-out for DOTD work vehicles applying de-icing material to area bridges and overpasses.

Additionally, motorists can utilize the new "Way to Geaux" application to receive real-time, around the clock travel alerts. The hands-free, eyes-free smartphone application can be downloaded on any iPhone or Android device by visiting either the iTunes App Store, or Google Play.

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