Pineville Concerned Citizens cancel tonight’s meeting

The community meeting hosted by the Pineville Concerned Citizens Inc.’s community m eeting scheduled for tonight has been canceled due to inclement weather.

The meeting will be rescheduled.

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.

All state roads, bridges open

All State Roads and Bridges in DOTD District 08 (Avoyelles, Rapides, Grant, Winn, Natchitoches, Sabine, Vernon Parishes) are open and passable.

I-49 in Alexandria, from Exit 80-MacArthur Drive (Jct. US 71/167) to Exit 94-Rapides Station (Jct. Parish Road 23) was recently reopen.

We are discontinuing our emergency operations and will be going back to our normal operating procedures.

This will be our final DOTD District 08 Update for this weather event.

I-49 from MacArthur Drive to Rapides Station now open

I-49 in Alexandria, from Exit 80-MacArthur Drive (Jct. US 71/167) to Exit 94-Rapides Station (Jct. Parish Road 23) is now open.

Richard Thompson/LA 8 Bridge over the Red River at Boyce is now open.

Closed Roads

–             LA 3098 in Grant Parish is closed to thru traffic due to downed tree with  power lines. DOTD is waiting on Entergy to remove their lines.

Currently, all other State Roads and Bridges in DOTD District 08 (Avoyelles, Rapides, Grant, Winn, Natchitoches, Sabine, Vernon Parishes) are open and passable. Most accumulations are melting and the road surfaces are wet.

The snowfall appeared to have stopped in most parts of the District. We are responding to several downed trees across some of the roads in Grant, Winn and Natchitoches Parishes.

With the continued melting of the snow accumulations and the predicted low temperature to be below freezing, there will be a chance for some re-freezing of the roads and bridges in Central Louisiana tonight.  Motorists 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.  Additionally, with the low predicted temperatures, isolated icing of roadways is also possible, so again, extreme caution is urged when traveling tonight.

APD responding to multiple weather-related calls, accidents

Between 6 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday, Alexandria Police Department responded to more than 75 calls for service and worked 15 traffic accidents, said Sgt. Ronald Besson, public information officer.

On Friday, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., the police department had responded to more than 30 calls for service and three traffic accidents, he said.

Besson reported all roadways, except I-49, inside the Alexandria’s city limits are open.

2,815 without Cleco power

As of 8:45 a.m., 2,815 Cleco customers are without power due to the weather conditions, according to the company’s Web site.

Those outages are in:

  • DeSoto Parish, 285
  • Red River Parish, 23
  • Natchitoches Parish, 542
  • Sabine Parish, 914
  • Grant Parish, 635
  • Rapides Parish, 411
  • St. Landry Parish

1 p.m.UPDATE: Boyce/Colfax bridge reopens

By Rhette Desselle
DOTD

DOTD District 08 advises that the Richard Thompson/LA-8 Bridge over Red River at Boyce has been re-opened to traffic.

District forces continue to work toward the re-opening of the section of I-49 in Alexandria from Exit 80-MacArthur Drive (Jct. US-71/167) to Exit 94-Rapides Station (Jct. Parish Road 23), but this road remains closed to traffic at this time.