Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 4:03:00 PM
The Department of Transportation and Development District 08 Office in Alexandria advises that the forecasted weather conditions may result in the possibility of snow and ice on some of the state roads and bridges in Central Louisiana.

DOTD will be monitoring the roadways for ice and maintenance forces will be on standby to apply salt over affected bridges, remove fallen trees from the roadway and close routes as needed.

Routes susceptible to closure in District 08’s service area, which covers Avoyelles, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine, Vernon, and Winn Parishes, include:

- Richard Thompson/LA 8 Bridge over the Red River (Boyce Bridge)
- Gillis Long/US 165B Bridge in Alexandria over the Red River
- Urban elevated sections of I-49 in Alexandria, from Exit 80-MacArthur Drive (Jct. US 71/167) to Exit 94-Rapides Station (Jct. Parish Road 23), along with the I-49 overpass bridges at Broadway Avenue, Sugarhouse Road, and Cotton Gin Road

DOTD will do everything possible to keep Louisiana’s highways and interstate system open in the event of winter precipitation, but must prioritize maintaining and re-opening roadways based on traffic volumes. In Central Louisiana, the following priority routes will be the first to be maintained and kept open where possible as a result of the predicted winter weather: I-49, north and south of Alexandria, US 71, US 84, US 165, US 167, US 171, LA 1, LA 6, LA 8, LA 9, LA 10, LA 28, LA 29, LA 34, LA 107, LA 115, LA 117, LA 498, and LA 3054.

DOTD urges motorists to use extra caution when traveling on roadways during hazardous weather conditions and stay off the roads whenever possible. Motorists should drive slowly and carefully, and avoid driving while distracted. Always allow for extra driving time, reduce speeds when visibility is low, and make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles. Also, 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.

Motorists can call 318-561-5100 or (800) 542-3509 for more information during freezing conditions. Citizens can also get the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions by using the 511 Traveler Information System simply by dialing 511 or visiting www.511la.org. Motorists may also monitor the LA DOTD website @ www.dotd.la.gov, the DOTD Facebook page or the LA DOTD Twitter page, @cenlatraffic for further information.

An additional weather update will be sent out after the 2:30 weather webinar with the National Weather Service in Lake Charles. Any questions, please call.