Posted: Feb 29, 2012 6:20 PM by Michael Shingleton
Updated: Feb 29, 2012 6:20 PM
BATON ROUGE - After multiple interstate closures from overturned or wrecked 18-wheelers, the Department of Transportation and Development plans to add more safety features to prevent congestion.
More rumble strips to audibly alert drivers of the upcoming S-curve will be put in place westbound. The strips already line a section of the eastbound lanes. DOTD has message boards scattered throughout the construction zone warning drivers of the upcoming shift, and more reflective arrows will be attached to the existing concrete barriers for night time warnings.
But even with all of these safety measures, most of which were already in place prior to Wednesday's announcement, truck drivers say it's the lane shift itself that's the problem.
"If you got a high load, you have to slow down. If you don't, your load is going to shift," Joe Puckett from Columbus, OH said.
"The S-curve is too sharp. It's too tight in there man. There's not enough lateral space," Tommy Garner said.
Truckers call the S-curve a design flaw, and speed isn't always to blame. One driver pointed out, "you never see these rigs rolling over on the I-10 S-curve, do you"?
DOTD expects the lane shift to be wrapped up in April and the entire project finished by the middle of this year... Weather permitting of course.