State Police expect heavy traffic for Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival
PONCHATOULA – The annual Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival this weekend is expected to bring more than 300,000 visitors to the area and Louisiana State Police are reminding drivers of alternate routes.
State Police says that the increased traffic surrounding the interstate causes dangerous backups from heavily congested off-ramps and forcing the closures of interstate exits.
In an effort to improve traffic flow, State Police Troop L is advising drivers to use the following alternate routes when entering and leaving the Ponchatoula area:
From Baton Rouge: exit I-12 eastbound at Pumpkin Center exit #35, proceed south to LA 22, then continue on LA 22 into Ponchatoula
From Covington/Slidell: exit I-12 westbound at LA 445 exit #47, proceed south to LA 22, then continue west on LA 22 into Ponchatoula
From Mandeville: take LA 22 west into Ponchatoula
From New Orleans area: take the Causeway Bridge into Mandeville and proceed to LA 22 west into Ponchatoula
Throughout the festival, State Police will be working in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies to get drunk drivers off of the roads. Troopers will be focusing on drunk drivers and passengers/occupants not wearing seat belts, distracted driving and any aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding and driving too close behind cars.
State Police also advises the following:
Do not drive distracted;
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin
- Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and give that person your keys
- If you're impaired, call a taxi, a sober friend, or a family member for a safe ride home
- If you encounter a suspected impaired driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact your local law enforcement
- If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely
- Always buckle up, the proper use of seatbelts continues to be the single most effective precaution taken to greatly reduce the chances of being seriously injured or killed in the event of a crash.