Posted: Jan 10, 2011 6:10 PM by Michael Shingleton
Updated: Jan 10, 2011 6:10 PM
BATON ROUGE - Both lanes of I-12 eastbound are back open after traffic officials put recovery operations on hold for a crashed 18-wheeler.
The truck, which was hauling potatoes, rolled onto its side in the construction zone near the Amite River Bridge this morning. There were no injuries, and the driver was cited for careless operation of a vehicle. They will continue recovery around 10 p.m.
Over the past 25 days, 3 trucks have rolled over in the exact same area. On December 15 and 31st, the interstate was shut down for hours following similar crashes.
Truck drivers believe the lack of a shoulder is causing these rollovers. That stretch of highway has a drop off 15 to 20 feet off of the road. The ground in between the drop off and the roadway is mud. One truck driver believes once you're in the mud, there's no getting out of it.
"With these big trucks, it's hard to get back on the road once you run off a shoulder. Especially when it's just dirt. With only 4-6 inches of concrete between your tire and the outside of your trailer, if you get off the road, there's nothing you can really do," Derrick Davis said.
State Police and the Department of Transportation and Development say there are plenty of signs and safety measures in place that warn drivers of construction zone hazards throughout the corridor, and there is no reason to build a temporary shoulder if drivers are paying attention.