Update: DOTD implements new safety measures on I-12 Eastbound
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 2:45:36 PM
In addition to the safety measures outlined below and at today’s press conference, DOTD is working with State Police to provide additional police presence at the approaches to the construction zone on I-12. The police will be present with blue lights flashing from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., seven days a week, to monitor the area and remind motorists to slow down and obey all traffic laws. This additional presence will be provided for the remainder of the current traffic configuration, which is expected to last through mid-April.

Baton Rouge— DOTD has implemented multiple new safety measures on Interstate 12 near O'Neal Lane, and will put in place even more measures in response to recent crashes involving tractor-trailers that have resulted in extended closures of the I-12 travel lanes.

To provide motorists additional warning of the lane shifts just east of O’Neal Lane, reflective arrows have been added to the concrete barriers. Rumble strips, which provide drivers an audible warning, have been installed on the driving surface. Variable message boards were already in place to advise drivers of the upcoming lane shifts, but additional boards have now been placed along I-12 eastbound between Sherwood Forest Boulevard and Millerville Road.

Additionally, local police have been provided with hand cords, devices used to manually operate traffic signals on surface streets more efficiently. The hand cords will help to alleviate congestion caused by traffic detoured from the interstate. State police will continue to patrol I-12 regularly to discourage speeding.

"DOTD is committed to safety, and we have implemented these measures to encourage compliance with posted speed limits. Drivers are reminded to pay attention to the roadway and practice safe driving throughout the construction zone," said DOTD Secretary Sherri LeBas.

The lane shifts on I-12 eastbound are in place to facilitate construction of the new I-12 eastbound Amite River Bridge. The lane shifts are scheduled for removal upon completion of the bridge, which is currently slated for mid-April.

The I-12 widening project from O’Neal Lane to Juban Road is scheduled for completion in mid-2012.

Motorists are urged to remain alert, obey speed limits and other posted signs, and exercise caution in construction zones.

Media personnel who need access to the interstate work zones to obtain photos or video must first contact the Geaux Wider team at (225) 906-1448. For safety reasons, no unscheduled or unaccompanied visits are permitted.

The Geaux Wider program is a multi-year construction initiative designed to increase capacity, improve safety and enhance mobility on Interstates 10 and 12 in East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes.

The following interstate segments are being widened to six lanes under the Geaux Wider program:

Interstate 10, from the I-10/12 split to Siegen Lane.

Interstate 10, from the Siegen Lane interchange to Highland Road.

Interstate 12, from the O'Neal Lane interchange to Pete's Highway.

Interstate 12 eastbound, from Pete's Highway to Juban Road.

Interstate 12, from Juban Road to the Walker/LA 447 interchange.

Completion of the entire program is tentatively scheduled for 2013.

For more information on the widening of I-10 and I-12, contact Louisiana DOTD Customer Service at 1-877-4LADOTD (3683) or visit www.GeauxWider.com.

DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through the construction site and be on the lookout for crews and their equipment.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.

For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email dotdcs@la.gov, 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 up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).