DOTD Set to Activate Ramp Meters at U.S. 90 B/Pontchartrain Expressway
Friday, July 15, 2016 at 5:48:35 PM

Less congestion, improved safety and travel times expected

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is preparing to activate ramp meters at U.S. 90B/Pontchartrain Expressway on Tuesday, July 19 in time for peak evening travel at 3 p.m. The ramp meters are an innovative traffic management strategy designed to reduce congestion, provide safer merging and improve travel time reliability.

“In order for us to be competitive, both regionally and nationally, we must have an innovative and competitive transportation infrastructure system that takes advantage of technology,” DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., said. “Utilizing the ramp meters will serve to decrease congestion, improve travel times and enhance safety along the multimodal U.S. 90 B corridor. That translates to people getting to and from work, and goods and services being delivered in a more efficient and timely manner – and doing so more safely during peak travel periods.”

Under two projects, a total of seven ramp meters have been installed, three in the river-bound direction and four lake-bound. The $3.6 million project to lengthen the Claiborne on-ramp onto U.S. 90 B, restripe U.S. 90 B from two lanes to three lanes, and install one ramp meter was started in February 2015 and completed in January 2016. Across U.S. 90 B, six additional meters were installed as part of the $1.8 million New Orleans Hospitality Zone project that began in April 2015 and is now wrapping up. Each project was designed to relieve congestion and improve safety and travel times. The meters will be activated Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. They will also be activated for special events or any incident that increases volume in the corridor.

Data shows that ramp meters can reduce crashes by as much as 30 percent, given certain variables. Ramp meters are stop-and-go traffic signals that control the frequency with which vehicles enter the flow of traffic on the freeway. They are located on the Pontchartrain Expressway on-ramps and look similar to a traffic signal. A red signal directs the motorist to stop for a few seconds until the green light is activated, signaling the motorist to proceed and safely merge onto the expressway. The green light accommodates one car per lane. On entrance ramps with two lanes, the green signal will alternate between the two lanes. When the ramp meter signal is turned off, motorists should merge as usual.

In Louisiana, the first ramp meters were fully activated in Baton Rouge in both directions of I-12, in summer 2012. They have proven to reduce instances of crashes and allow for more predictable travel times, thus making for a more efficient and safer daily commute.

DOTD will monitor the meters from the New Orleans Regional Transportation Management Center and adjustments will be made as necessary.

For more information, please visit, email, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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 on 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