Baton Rouge drivers confused by DOTD crews counting occupants of passing cars on I-10
BATON ROUGE – Confused drivers slowed, briefly causing a traffic issue on I-10 Tuesday afternoon, as they passed a group of DOTD contractors hired to count the number of people in each passing car.
The small group of contractors gathered on the Nairn Drive overpass above I-10 around 4 o'clock Tuesday. DOTD said they were hired to take pictures of passing vehicles in an effort to count the occupants for research for an HOV lane study.
The state paid $150,000 for the study, which is gathering "data for a feasibility study on using the I-12 shoulder as an HOV lane," a DOTD spokesperson told WBRZ.
In larger cities, HOV lanes are made available during peak travel times for vehicles with numerous occupants.
The group studying the lanes in Baton Rouge took to the space above the interstate just as the traditional evening rush was beginning.
While bizarre, the research is among the unusual efforts the state is making to fight traffic in Baton Rouge. Earlier in January, the state announced a plan to borrow money based on future federal highway funds to pay for a widening project.
One lane in either direction will be added in the coming years to I-10 from the Mississippi River to the I-10/12 split. Work would begin after an environmental phase is complete at the end of 2018.
Survey crews are scheduled to do surveying work related to the expansion this week and next. Overnight lane closures are planned for the survey operation. Click HERE for more.
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