Posted: Aug 22, 2012 10:25 AM by Russell Jones
Updated: Aug 22, 2012 4:56 PM
BATON ROUGE - This morning's wreck and interstate closure snarled traffic across the capital city, and sent authorities scrambling to keep people moving.
I-10 East is closed at the I-10/12 junction, and I-10 West is closed at Siegen. The ramp from I-12 West onto I-10 East also remains closed, according to DOTD. Traffic is unable to access I-10 East or West from Essen or Bluebonnet.
I-10 East traffic is being detoured to I-12 East at the I-10/I-12 Split and I-10 West traffic is being detoured off the interstate at Siegen.
For the drive home tonight, DOTD and the city synchronized traffic signals along major arteries in the city to get traffic out of the parish faster. That means signals will stay green longer for certain routes, such as Airline Highway, Perkins Road, Jefferson Highway, Florida Blvd., and others.
State Police also recommended state workers who travel south from downtown Baton Rouge be allowed to leave at staggered times this afternoon to reduce the amount of traffic entering the system at once.
Workers also reopened River Road near Duncan Pointe to help relieve traffic backup. The road is closed during the week as crews finish repairs to the levee in that area, which was damaged by historic flooding along the Mississippi River more than a year ago.
DOTD advised drivers to avoid the closure area by traveling north of it when possible. Drivers traveling from New Orleans to Lafayette should take I-55 north to I-12 instead of taking I-10. Drivers coming east from Lafayette should take La. 90 through Morgan City and avoid Baton Rouge altogether to the south. DOTD also contacted members of the trucking industry and asked they direct drivers to avoid Baton Rouge, possibly by heading through Natchez or Vicksburg, until the closure and traffic jam is resolved.
More Motorist Assistance Patrols and dynamic message signs were brought in to help out during the closure, and MAP trucks will be on 24-hour rotation until the situation is cleared up.
People can get more information about road conditions by calling 511 and saying the route or region they're trying to get information about. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information Website.