Louisiana: DOT Reminds I-10 Motorists to Drive Safely During Memorial Day Holiday

Louisiana: DOT Reminds I-10 Motorists to Drive Safely During Memorial Day Holiday

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development reminded motorists to use caution when traveling on the roadways during the Memorial Day holiday weekend (Saturday, May 23 through Monday, May 25).

Secretary Sherri LeBas announced that all oversize and overweight vehicle travel on state highways will be prohibited on Monday, May 25. LeBas said the decision was made in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Office of State Police to maximize the safety of motorists traveling during this holiday.

The Department’s Truck Permit Office will also be closed on May 25 in observance of Memorial Day.

For traveling convenience, motorists can access up-to-date information about weather-related road conditions, construction activities and other critical incidents by dialing 511 from their telephone. The voice-activated 511 Traveler Information System is available to most wireless and landline telephone users. Out-of-state travelers can access the system by calling 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information System Website at www.511la.org.

Another option is to utilize the “Way to Geaux” smartphone application to receive real-time, around-the-clock travel alerts. The hands-free, eyes-free application can be downloaded on any iPhone or Android device by visiting either the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

DOTD’s Customer Service Center representatives can also answer questions about road closures or any other DOTD-related questions. Please call (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683) with questions. The center’s business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Customer Service Center will be closed Monday, May 25. Drivers are encouraged to tune in to local radio stations for current traffic and incident information prior to traveling.


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Louisiana: DOT Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for I-10 Project in Slidell

Louisiana Road Construction | I-10 Exit GuideThe Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s Secretary Sherri H. LeBas hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of a nearly $40 million repair project on Interstate 10 in Slidell. The ceremony was held at the Slidell Welcome Center where DOTD was joined by local officials.

The project will involve replacing the worn pavement on I-10 east toward the West Pearl River Bridge (near the Slidell Welcome Center) to the French Branch Bridge, as well as the pavement on the I-10/I-12/I-59 interchange ramps.

Sec. LeBas said, “Pavement distresses accumulate due to age and the constant pounding from traffic. These high-volume corridors we are addressing are very critical to the efficiency of hurricane evacuation operations and are primary routes to our neighbors in Mississippi. These improvements will provide a safer, smoother, more efficient roadway.”

In addition to travelers to and from Mississippi, there are several area industries within the corridors including three health care facilities, four airports, the ports of New Orleans and St. Bernard, CSX Transportation, and Thompson Packers, Inc. Motorists should expect several scheduled lane closures, including extended weekend closures, to allow the contractor enough time to work.

“With approximately 68,000 daily commuters in addition to commercial businesses, we worked with industry partners throughout the planning process to determine how much work could be performed if we allowed the extended weekend closures,” said Sec. LeBas. “Though temporary, we understand that travel will be a challenge. We encourage all drivers, both in state and out, to adjust travel times to allow for any traffic impacts. Also, be patient and don’t drive distracted, especially in and around work zone areas.”

The project is collaboration between DOTD, the Federal Highway Administration, Shred-Kuykendall and Neel-Schaffer. Work is expected to be completed by summer 2016.

Construction of the project is funded by $35.6 million in federal monies, with another $3.9 million in state funds.

“It’s important to have safe roads,” said Rep. Kevin Pearson. “I think [Interstates] 10, 12 and 59 is one of the few areas, I think really in the country, where you have three interstates come together and its vital to hurricane evacuation.”

“The impacts [of infrastructure projects] on St. Tammany Parish as a whole are many,” said Parish President Pat Brister. “They include safety, efficiency and less wear and tear on vehicles. They also include the impression we leave on our visitors who pass through our community. We encourage tourists to pass through our great parish every chance they get because tourism is part of our economic engine. So, we know [this project] is very important.”

“Our troopers will be working very closely with DOTD and highway workers to ensure safety in work zones,” said Sgt. Nick Manale of Louisiana State Police. “It is also the responsibility of motorists and they should use extra caution when traveling through work zones, and avoid driving distracted at all times.”


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New Mexico: Seatbelt Enforcement Campaign Along I-10

New Mexico: Seatbelt Enforcement Campaign Along I-10

New Mexico law enforcement is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. As part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping
up enforcement Monday, May 18 – Sunday, May 31, heading into one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

“With the Memorial Day weekend around the corner, we want to make sure people are using their seatbelts. This one simple step is a proven life saver in motor vehicle crashes. If these enforcement crackdowns get people’s attention and get them to buckle up, then we’ve done our job,” said New Mexico Department of Transportation Secretary Tom Church.

Last year New Mexico’s seat belt use rate was 92.1 percent, which is higher than the national rate of 87 percent. However, preliminary data shows that 152 unbelted vehicle occupants died in crashes in New Mexico 2014.

New Mexico is one of 34 states that have a primary seat belt law which allows law enforcement officers to ticket all seated passengers for not wearing a seat belt, without any other traffic offense taking place. Seat belt use is approximately 10 percent higher in states with a primary seatbelt law.


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Tennessee: Road Construction Won’t Delay I-75 Memorial Day Travelers

Tennessee Road Construction | I-75 Exit GuideRoad construction won’t slow motorists down as they travel Tennessee’s highways this Memorial Day weekend. The Tennessee Department of Transportation will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at 12:00 noon on Friday, May 22 through 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26. This will provide maximum roadway capacity for motorists expected to travel in the state this Memorial Day weekend.

“Over 600-thousand drivers are predicted to travel on Tennessee’s roadways this Memorial Day weekend,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “Suspending construction-related lane closures during this busy time will reduce congestion and delays on our major highways and help travelers reach their destinations safely.”

Motorists may still encounter some lane closures or restrictions while traveling through long term construction projects. Drivers should be aware that reduced speed limits will be in effect in work zones. Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of up to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.

“Memorial Day marks the unofficial kick-off to the summer driving season, and this year there will be an increased number of drivers on Tennessee’s roadways,” added Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. “To help make our roadways safer, law enforcement agencies throughout the state will join together during the Click It or Ticket campaign to crack down on those individuals not wearing their seat belt.”

AAA estimates 37.2 million people will travel more than 50 miles this Memorial Day holiday, a 4.7% increase over last year’s numbers. This marks the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years and includes a 5.3% increase in car travel over last Memorial Day. In Tennessee, AAA predicts that 668,866 will travel by automobile and 55,177 by air.

As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for your destination. Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.


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Ohio: Plan Ahead for Construction Zones and ‘Click It or Ticket’ This Memorial Day Weekend

Ohio Construction | I-75 Exit GuideThe Memorial Day Weekend has historically had the highest number of serious injuries and the third-highest number of fatalities of all major holidays on Ohio roads between 2009-2013.

May 18-31, 2015 is National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization and the Ohio Department of Transportation is reminding drivers and passengers to “Click It or Ticket.”

In Ohio, about 37 percent of all traffic deaths involve unbelted drivers and passengers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, lap and shoulder belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to serious injuries by 50 percent. Ohio’s seat belt use rate is about 85 percent, lower than surrounding states such as Indiana and Michigan.

“We know seatbelts save lives and we all need to do better when it comes to buckling up,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray.

With more cars on the road during Memorial Day Weekend, motorists can ease frustration by planning ahead, especially when driving through construction zones. Below are some of the state’s I-75 highway projects that could impact your travel:

Interstate 75, Miami/Shelby County
I-75 near CR 25A (Farrington) north of Troy is under construction. Two lanes of traffic will remain open in each direction. The ramp from I-75 south to CR 25A is closed. Motorists need to stay alert, as traffic patterns are currently not in their traditional places at this location.

Interstate 75, Lima, Allen County
I-75 from Fourth St. in Lima to Cridersville has restricted lane widths during reconstruction of the interstate. Traffic patterns are altered but two lanes of traffic are maintained in both directions.

Interstate 75, Wood County
Widen I-75 to three lanes in both directions from Perrysburg to Findlay. 11-foot lane width restrictions and reduced speed limits are in place in the work zone.

Interstate 75, Lucas County
I-75, from the Anthony Wayne Trail to the I-75/280 interchange in Toledo, is reduced to two lanes. Ramp restrictions are also in place at the I-75/475 interchange in Toledo. 11-foot lane width restrictions and reduced speed limits are in place in the work zone. The ramp from Detroit Ave. to southbound I-75 is closed. Detour is posted.

Interstate 75, Montgomery County
I-75 from Third St. to Main St. is under construction due to the modernization of the interstate through the city of Dayton. Two lanes of traffic will remain open to northbound motorists. Three lanes will be open to southbound motorists. Motorists need to stay alert, as traffic patterns are currently not in their traditional places at this location.

Interstate 75, Hamilton County
Interstate 75/Hopple St. interchange. Eastbound I-74, just north/west of the merge to southbound I-75 is reduced to one lane from the exit to Central Pkwy. to the merge with southbound I-75; traffic can continue to exit from eastbound I-74 to northbound I-75 and to Central Pkwy. Two left lanes of southbound I-75 are shifted onto northbound I-75 by way of two contraflow lanes located between south of the I-75/ I-74 interchange and north of Harrison Ave. exit. The right lane of southbound I-75 and the lane from eastbound I-74 remain on the southbound side of I-75. While the permanent work zone restrictions remain in place, work is suspended over the holiday and there will be no additional lane closures.


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