New camera installed to monitor WBR traffic
PORT ALLEN - A new traffic camera is keeping a close eye on the heavily-congested traffic in West Baton Rouge Parish.
The eye in the sky is on the south side of the Intracoastal Bridge on LA 1. The surveillance was installed to monitor traffic but will also be used as evidence of traffic violations.
The area around the west entrance to the new bridge is a mess. Traffic backs up in all three directions toward the bridge and drivers are fed up with the long delays, especially since the bridge is the only way across the waterway.
It has gotten so bad, the parish had to hire a sheriff's deputy to block drivers from cutting in at the foot of the bridge and blocked roads north of the canal so people can't loop around.
Parish leaders want an alternative and have been fighting for a new connector, but don't have the cash. They hope the camera will motivate state leaders to do something about the back up as well as deter traffic violators.
"It will allow us to have additional evidence to present to DOTD and our state legislators on the real concerns that we have," said Jason Manola, Chief of Administration for West Baton Rouge Parish. "We can use the footage in court if there is any potential case with accidents and things of that nature."
Drivers say they're sick of the cameras and studies, and want action. Parish leaders argue they're doing everything they can, but they don't see traffic improving until another bridge is built.
"This isn't the fix-all for our traffic concerns," Manola said. "that won't happen until we have another bridge somewhere, that people can cross to alleviate this back up across the Mississippi River."