Louisiana state police issue holiday travel advisory
Heading to Baton Rouge for the LSU-Arkansas game on Friday? Plan your route ahead: a 55-mile stretch of Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and Lafayette likely will be closed until at least Dec. 4 because of a burning natural gas well in the Atchafalaya Basin, authorities said today.
State transportation officials said the fire must be extinguished before crews can get into the area to remove debris and attempt to recap the well.
The Louisiana State Police is providing the public with a toll-free Hotline for traffic updates regarding the closure of Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and Lafayette. The interstate is expected to remain closed due to an on-going natural gas well fire until at least December 4, 2007. Motorists may call 1-800-469-4828 to receive updated information about alternate routes. The public can also receive information from the State Police website at www.LSP.org . Additionally, travelers can dial *511 from their cell phone for road closure information.
State Police would like to encourage travelers to use alternative routes to reach their destinations for Thanksgiving. Here are some suggested routes:
Primary re-routing of Interstate 10
I-10 eastbound traffic from Lake Charles will be diverted northbound onto I-49 in Lafayette. Motorists will then be directed eastbound on U.S. 190 at Opelousas. Eastbound traffic can continue into Baton Rouge on U.S. 190 over the Huey P. Long Bridge (Old Bridge) to I-110. I-110 southbound will merge into I-10 eastbound.
Eastbound traffic on U.S. 190 can also take LA Hwy 415 southbound to re-access Interstate 10 eastbound in Port Allen and continue east over the Horace Wilkinson Bridge (New Bridge) into Baton Rouge. There is no westbound access to I-10 at LA Hwy 415.
I-10 westbound traffic coming from Baton Rouge and traveling to Lafayette need to take I-110 northbound to U.S. Hwy 190 westbound over the Huey P. Long Bridge (Old Bridge). Motorists will continue westbound on U.S. 190 to Opelousas, then southbound on I-49 to Lafayette where they can re-access I-10 westbound. There is no eastbound access to I-10 in Lafayette.
Westbound traffic can also take I-10 eastbound from Baton Rouge over the Horace Wilkinson Bridge (New Bridge) but will be diverted northbound on LA Hwy 415 in Port Allen. Motorists will be directed westbound on U.S. 190 from La Hwy 415. Expect longer delays traveling this route.
LSU and Bayou Classic football game traffic:
From Shreveport to Baton Rouge: Motorists can take I-49 southbound to U.S. 190 eastbound. Motorists are also encouraged to use U.S. Hwy 71 from Alexandria to either U.S. 190 eastbound or from U.S Hwy 71 to LA Hwy 10. LA Hwy 10 can be traveled to La Hwy 1 in New Roads, then southbound to U.S. 190.
LA Hwy 1 can also be accessed from the Marksville area and traveled southbound to U.S. 190.
From Shreveport to New Orleans: Motorists are encouraged to take I-49 southbound through
Lafayette. I-49 will turn into U.S. Hwy 90, which is a direct route into New Orleans (westbank).
From Monroe or Arkansas: Motorists should use U.S. Hwy 165 southbound to Interstate 20 eastbound. Take Interstate 20 eastbound past Vicksburg, MS. East of Vicksburg, motorists can take I-55 southbound into Louisiana to LaPlace. I-55 merges with I-10 eastbound at LaPlace just west of New Orleans. Motorists can also take U.S. Hwy 61 southbound from Vicksburg directly into Baton Rouge.
I-55 southbound also merges with I-12 eastbound at Hammond, LA. I-12 westbound is a direct route into Baton Rouge.
Mississippi travelers to Louisiana or Texas
Interstates 10, 12 and 20 are all open from Mississippi into Louisiana. Once in Louisiana, motorists can use the above recommended alternate routes from the Baton Rouge or New Orleans areas.
Once again, we would like to remind motorists to expect delays, plan ahead and be patient. If you are involved in an accident, you may dial *LSP (*577) to reach your nearest State Police troop.