North Louisiana faces a traffic mess beginning Saturday - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

North Louisiana faces a traffic mess beginning Saturday

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Lea Joyner Bridge Lea Joyner Bridge

MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - The day when driving between Monroe and West Monroe changes dramatically, is drawing near.

This coming Saturday, June 1st, the Lea Joyner bridge (Highway 80, Louisville Avenue) will be closed for about a month. Traffic will be re-routed to three other area bridges, two of which are already carrying an overload of traffic.

Being able to get current information on the status of traffic crossing these alternate bridges will be critical to drivers, so in preparation of the U.S. 80 Louisville Bridge closure, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is encouraging motorists to obtain real-time traffic information through of the use of DOTD's 511 system and Twitter traffic page. 

DOTD is working in conjunction with its Traffic Management Center (TMC) to issue timely information to the public regarding delays, accidents and road closures.  Motorists can access real-time traffic and road conditions by using the 511 Traveler Information System simply by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information Web site at www.511la.org.  Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).  Additionally, traffic updates will be reported and can be accessed on the Monroe Traffic Twitter page https://twitter.com/Monroe_Traffic

In addition, the DOTD smart-phone application is available, free, on the internet. One of the strongest features of this app is that it delivers the information verbally so drivers don't have to be distracted trying to read information on their phones.

To get the app downloaded, free, to your smart phone, go to the website at http://www.infologisticscorp.com/appdev/waytogeaux.html

General Information on the upcoming closings:

The U.S. 80 Louisville Bridge is currently in the final phase of a rehabilitation project.  The complete closure of the bridge is necessary for crews to replace the bridge bearings.  The bearing replacement will take place on both the eastbound and westbound side the bridge; therefore, two separate closures will be required. 

The first closure will begin June 1 and will remain in effect approximately four weeks.  The bridge will then reopen to traffic until the second closure begins on July 10.  This closure will also last approximately four weeks.  In an effort to minimize the length of the closures and reduce impacts to motorists, crews will be working around the clock to replace the bridge bearings.              

DOTD encourages motorists to detour using I-20.  This closure will not affect river barge traffic.

DOTD urges motorists to use extra caution when traveling on roadways during construction activities. Motorists should drive slowly and carefully, and avoid driving while distracted. Always allow for extra driving time, reduce speeds, and make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles. As always, DOTD reminds motorists to buckle up and refrain from drinking and driving.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 930 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state's aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.

For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email dotdcs@la.gov, or call DOTD's Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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