The Department of Transportation and Development District 08 Office in Alexandria advises that due to the forecasted winter weather conditions by the National Weather Service, which could result in snow or ice accumulations, at 8:00p.m. Tonight, Monday, January 27, 2014, the following structures will be closed:
·The urban elevated section of I-49 in Alexandria between northbound exit 80 [MacArthur Drive (Jct. US 71/167)] to southbound exit 94 [Rapides Station (Jct. Parish Road 23)], along with the I-49 overpass bridges at Broadway Avenue, and Cotton Gin Road
·The Richard Thompson/LA 8 bridge over the Red River [Boyce Bridge]
·Gillis Long/US 165 Bridge in Alexandria over the Red River [Jackson Street Bridge]
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 as conditions will allow.
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, for this event 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 & south of Alexandria, US 71, US 84, US 165, US 167, US 171, LA 1 south of Alexandria, LA 6, LA 8 west of Leesville, LA 9, LA 10 Primary [US 171 – S. Fort Polk Entrance in Vernon Parish], LA 28, LA 1 Bypass in Natchitoches, LA 34, LA 107 – Moncla Bridge .
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.