Hazardous driving condition, advisory due to possible snow and ice

The Department of Transportation and Development District 08 (Avoyelles, Rapides, Grant, Winn, Natchitoches, Sabine, Vernon Parishes) Office in Alexandria advises that the National Weather Service has forecasted weather conditions which may result in the accumulation of snow and ice on some of the state roads and bridges in Central Louisiana, especially in Sabine and Natchitoches Parishes.

Due to the infrequent occurrence and enormity of this type of weather event, the Department has only limited resources on hand to maintain its roads and bridges under these adverse weather conditions, therefore it is necessary to prioritize which routes will be first maintained and kept open.

The following priority routes will be the first to be maintained and kept open where possible as a result of the predicted winter weather:

I-49, US 71,  US 84,  US 165,  US 167,  US 171, LA 1,  LA 6,  LA 8,  LA 9,  LA 10,  LA 28,  LA 29,  LA 34,  LA 107,  LA 115,  LA 117,  LA 498,  and  LA 3054

The priority routes were chosen due to their importance of carrying the greatest number of vehicles in the major North to South and East to West corridors through District 08 and to maintain continuity throughout the State.

Certain bridges and elevated structures along some of the above priority routes are not maintainable during these extreme weather conditions, and therefore, must be closed when conditions deteriorate.  These include:

–          Richard Thompson/LA 8 Bridge over the Red River

–          Gillis Long/US 165B Bridge in Alexandria over the Red River

–          Urban elevated sections of I-49 in Alexandria, from Exit 80-MacArthur Drive (Jct. US 71/167) to Exit 94-Rapides Station (Jct. Parish Road 23), along with the I-49 overpass bridges at Broadway Avenue, Sugarhouse Road, and Cotton Gin Road

The closure of any of these roads and bridges will be announced should they become necessary.  DOTD employees will be working throughout the night to keep all other elevated structures and bridges open on the State roads and bridges in Central Louisiana.

All motorists are advised to avoid travel until the weather allows the roadways and bridges to thaw and become free of ice.  Motorists who must travel are advised to use extreme caution when traversing all bridges because bridge decks are subject to ice formation with the onset of freezing temperatures and this may contribute to drivers losing control of their vehicles.

In addition, with the low predicted temperatures, isolated icing of roadways is also possible, so again, extreme caution is urged when traveling.

Call (318) 561-5100 or (800) 542-3509 or 511 for more information during freezing conditions.

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