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Portion of Airline Highway to be transformed into 'SuperStreet' in Ascension Parish

1 year 2 weeks 21 hours ago Monday, July 10 2023 Jul 10, 2023 July 10, 2023 5:46 PM July 10, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

GONZALES - Some big changes are in the works for a heavily-traveled corridor in Ascension Parish. 

The city of Gonzales is partnering with the Ascension Parish government and DOTD to design a project that would transform Airline Highway into a 'SuperStreet.' The plans call for the implementation of new medians and elimination of many crossing points.

See the full plans here

Chief Traffic Engineer for the City of Gonzales, Jackie Baumann, says the intent of a 'SuperStreet' is to increase safety and capacity by making traffic flow more efficiently and quickly. 

"A SuperStreet design basically changes the way traffic makes turns and reduces the conflict points," Baumann said. "The design may eliminate medians and eliminate lights but give drivers a faster means of making those same routes that they make today."

While the project is still early in the design phase, a preliminary layout shows major intersections like Airline at Burnside separated with a grass median. With this design, drivers will have no option but to turn right onto Airline and then make a J-turn further up the road. 

There is already one example of this in Prairieville at Airline Highway and LA 42, near a busy shopping center. 

"By making people turn right and U-turn and removing some of those left turn movements, that left turn actually travels quicker by going right and making the turn instead of sitting through three light cycles or four light cycles like we are today," Baumann said. 

The changes don't stop there, either. Project plans also call for a roundabout near Lowe's on LA 44 at Bayou Narcisse, which would effectively eliminate the need for a stoplight at the intersection. 

"By getting rid of the Bayou Narcisse red light and giving that complete roundabout at Lowe's, those cars actually get out of Bayou Narcisse quicker than sitting there stuck at the red light where they are today." 

Once the details are ironed out, Baumann says the city will hold a public input meeting for drivers to view the official plans. An official timeline for the project is not yet available. 

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