DOTD issues Mardi Gras travel advisory
Tuesday, March 01, 2011 at 2:38:46 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) today advised drivers of upcoming work schedules for interstate and major road projects throughout Louisiana for the Mardi Gras holiday (Friday, March 4 through Tuesday, March 8).

DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas, urged drivers to use extra caution when traveling on the roadways during the upcoming holiday weekend, especially at railroad crossings.

Below is the regional listing of work schedules and road closures for interstate construction and major road projects.
Southeast Louisiana 
In the New Orleans area, all lanes of I-310, I-510 and I-610 will remain open during the holiday.

In Orleans Parish, a potential closure may be scheduled on I-10 near Irish Bayou at the Corps of Engineers flood protection project site. On I-10 eastbound, the left lane may be closed intermittently from 6 a.m. to 3p.m. on Friday, March 4 and Monday, March 7.

In Jefferson Parish, the Huey P. Long Bridge will have the left lane closed in each direction from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, March 4. River Road on the West Bank under the Huey P. Long Bridge will be closed on Saturday, March 5 from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m.

In the Thibodaux area, the Bayou Blue Pontoon Bridge on LA 316 is closed to vehicular traffic. Both LA 182, in Lafourche Parish (in Raceland near the sugar mill), and LA 664 (St. Charles Street Bridge) over Bayou Terrebonne in Houma, are closed to thru traffic for bridge replacement projects.

In the Slidell area, all lanes of I-10, I-12 and I-59 will remain open.

In the Hammond area and surrounding parishes, all lanes of I-12 and I-55 will remain open.

In East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes, all lanes of I-10 and I-12 will remain open. Drivers should note that the speed limit has been reduced to 50 mph within the construction zones on I-10 and I-12.

Southwest Louisiana 
In the Lafayette area, all lanes of I-10 and I-49 will remain open to traffic. However, the intersection of LA 93 & LA 98 is closed to traffic due to the construction of a roundabout.

In St. Landry Parish, I-49 will remain open to traffic.

In the Lake Charles area, all lanes of I-210 will remain open to traffic. Construction continues on I-10 near Sulphur, with one lane closed in each direction.

Central Louisiana
 In the Alexandria area, all lanes of I-49 will remain open to traffic. 
In Natchitoches Parish, LA 6 at the Grand Ecore Bridge will continue to be reduced to one lane. Temporary traffic lights are in place to control the flow of traffic. Drivers may experience minor delays because of construction activity in this area.

Northeast Louisiana 
In Madison Parish, I-20 will have one lane closed in the westbound direction from the Mississippi River Bridge to Mound (Exit 182).

In Ouachita Parish, I-20 will have one lane closed in the westbound direction from Garrett Road (Exit 120) to the Ouachita River Bridge, each night from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Also, I-20 will be reduced to one lane in each direction and detoured onto the exit ramps and back onto the entrance ramps to I-20 at Well Road (Exit 112) beginning Friday, March 4 at 7 p.m. through Monday, March 7 at 7 a.m. for the replacement of the Well Road Overpass.
Speeds will be reduced through these construction zones.

Northwest Louisiana 
In the Shreveport-Bossier City area and surrounding parishes, all lanes of I-20 and I-49 will remain open.

In the Bossier area, I-20 eastbound will have one lane closed nightly from Hamilton Road/Isle of Capri Boulevard (Exit 20A) to Industrial Drive (Exit 23) from Sunday, March 6 to Tuesday, March 8.  Lane closures will start at 9 p.m. and end at 5 a.m.

Additionally, I-20 in Webster Parish at LA 531 (Exit 49) and LA 532 (Exit 52) will be reduced to one lane of traffic in both the eastbound and westbound directions.

Oversize/overweight vehicle movement
Secretary LeBas, announced today that all oversize and overweight vehicle movement on all State highways will be prohibited in the following areas on Mardi Gras Day, Tuesday, March 8:

• Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard (including the Interstates).
• Within the city limits of Lafayette, excluding I-10.
• Within the city limits and surrounding area of New Roads.
• Within the city limits and surrounding area of Houma.
• Within the city limits and surrounding area of Lake Charles, excluding I-10 and I-210.

LeBas said the decision was made in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety’s Office of State Police to provide maximum safety for motorists traveling on state highways during this holiday. 

The DOTD Truck Permit Office will be open Tuesday, March 8. Please call 1-800-654-1433 for information on permits. 

Travelers can access up-to-date information about weather-related road conditions, construction activities and other critical incidents by dialing 511 from their telephone. The voice-activated 511 Traveler Information System is available to most wireless and landline telephone users.

Out-of-state travelers can access the system by calling 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information System Web site at

LA Swift Bus Service
LA Swift, the bus service that provides coach bus rides between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, will operate on its weekend schedule on Tuesday, March 8. The New Orleans Park & Ride stops will resume as scheduled on Wednesday, March 9. Please note that all evening routes may be delayed due to traffic caused by parades.

Schedules and further details are available at and through LA Swift’s Customer Service Center at (877)-94-SWIFT (1-877-947-9438). The center’s hours of operation are 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The bus service makes stops in Baton Rouge, Sorrento, LaPlace, and Kenner, in addition to express service between the CATS Florida Street terminal and the Elk Place stop in New Orleans.

Further information
More detailed information on the status of DOTD construction projects and road closures may be obtained via the Traveler Information link from DOTD’s Web site,

Traffic cameras for the Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Walker, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Shreveport/Bossier City, Monroe/West Monroe, Houma, LaPlace and New Orleans areas also may be viewed from the 511 site.

DOTD’s Customer Service Center representatives can answer questions about road closures not listed above or any other DOTD-related questions. Please call (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683) with questions. The center’s business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Customer Service Center will be closed Tuesday, March 8.
Finally, drivers are encouraged to tune in to local radio stations for current traffic and incident information prior to traveling.

Drivers who notice road hazards, such as potholes or debris in the road, are urged to call DOTD’s statewide, toll-free Highway Safety Hot Line at 1-800-259-HWAY (4929). The automated system operates 24 hours a day and routes callers to the appropriate field office to report hazardous conditions.