DOTD receives national award for innovative Baton Rouge intersection
Friday, November 30, 2007 at 12:00:00 AM
Baton Rouge, LA - The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has received a national award for its innovative "Continuous Flow Intersection" (CFI) on Airline Highway at Sherwood Forest Boulevard in Baton Rouge, DOTD Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry announced on Friday.

The award from the National Partnership for Highway Quality (NPHQ) marks the second consecutive year in which DOTD has been honored by the group of government and private industry transportation leaders. In 2006, NPHQ gave DOTD its Partnership Award for the planning, communication and implementation of the contraflow evacuation of the New Orleans area prior to Hurricane Katrina.

The CFI concept eliminates "conflict points" at an intersection by allowing vehicles to cross over opposing traffic several hundred feet before the intersection through a series of carefully timed traffic signals. The NPHQ called the CFI concept "another revolutionary technique to address operational issues."

A recent study shows the intersection is handling more traffic than it was before the CFI was installed but is moving the traffic faster and with fewer crashes.

"The CFI concept is indicative of the innovative thinking taking place at DOTD," Secretary Bradberry said. "When construction dollars are limited, it is even more important that we not only think outside the box but ask if we’re limited to a box in the first place."

The CFI was designed for DOTD by ABMB Engineers, a Baton Rouge firm. Mike Bruce, a principal in the firm, noted that the Baton Rouge CFI was the first of its kind in the country.

"We’re very proud that DOTD decided to try the CFI, and we’re hopeful that we will be able to offer this as a real traffic solution at other intersections," Bruce said.

Because the CFI is a new concept, DOTD formed a task force to study its effectiveness and the public’s perception of how well the intersection is working. The findings show:

  • Congestion time at the intersection has been reduced by as much as 40 percent during the evening rush hour, which is the intersection’s worst congestion period.
  • CFI has allowed approximately 10 percent more traffic to pass through the intersection.
  • The number of crashes at the intersection has been reduced by 27 percent since the CFI has opened.
  • Approximately 92 percent of drivers are satisfied with the operation of the CFI.
  • About 87 percent of drivers believe the traffic congestion has lessened.
  • About 74 percent of drivers believe travel time has decreased.
  • About 68 percent of drivers believe safety has increased.