DOTD issues winter weather travel advisory

Staff reports

BATON ROUGE – With possible snow and rain in the forecast throughout the Mardi Gras holiday weekend, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development said Wednesday its maintenance forces will be on standby to apply sand and salt over any affected bridges and roadways, to remove fallen trees from the roadway.

DOTD said it will also to close any roads as needed, and urged motorists to take the threat of winter weather seriously.

“In the event of adverse weather conditions, the department will strive to maintain access to Louisiana’s highways and interstates,” said Interim Secretary Sherri LeBas.

During winter weather conditions, the best thing motorists can do is drive slowly and carefully, and avoid driving while distracted. Always allow for extra driving time, reduce speeds when visibility is low, and make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles. Also, look out for black ice, which can form on bridges, overpasses, off-ramps and in shady spots. As always, DOTD reminds motorists to buckle up and refrain from drinking and driving.

“We encourage the motoring public to avoid traveling during snow and ice, if at all possible,” said LeBas.

Citizens can get the latest updates on 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.

Motorists can also obtain information regarding road closures by contacting DOTD’s Customer Service Center at 1-877-4LA-DOTD (1-877-452-3683). The center is open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.