BATON ROUGE – 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 in northern portions of the state.
Even as the weather conditions improve today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises motorists to stay off the roads until it is safe to travel. Travel could be treacherous. 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.
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 and other 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.