DOTD readies for adverse weather conditions

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is prepared for winter weather that is forecast to have impacts throughout the state during the early part of this week. Beginning tonight, forecasts call for freezing conditions throughout the northern part of the state with the possibility of wintry precipitation. According to weather forecasts, these conditions may also have impacts statewide on Monday and Tuesday.

Throughout the state, DOTD has staged de-icing resources, should these materials be needed. The pre-treatment of roads is weather and temperature-dependent, as the premature use of de-icing resources can be ineffective. However, the materials and equipment are staged and ready for use.

Supply inventories and equipment have been checked, and crews will address any affected bridges and roadways.

For the most up-to-date road status information, DOTD offers motorists various resources.

• Motorists can receive automatic and up-to-date information on local projects, lane and road closures, and other DOTD activity by signing up for MyDOTD at www.dotd.la.gov.

• Travelers can also find information regarding road closures by visiting the 511 Traveler Information website at www.511la.org or by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can access the system by calling 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).

• Additionally, real-time traffic and road condition updates are also available at DOTD’s “Way to Geaux” smartphone application, which can be downloaded on any iPhone or Android device by visiting either the iTunes App Store, or Google Play.

DOTD urges motorists to use extra caution when traveling on roadways during hazardous weather conditions and stay off the roads whenever possible. DOTD will do everything it can to keep Louisiana’s highways and interstate system open in the event of freezing rain, sleet or snow and will prioritize the maintenance and opening of routes based on traffic volumes.

During winter weather conditions, motorists should practice the following driving safety tips.

• Drive slowly and carefully

• Avoid driving while distracted

• Always allow for extra driving time

• Reduce speeds when visibility is low

• Make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles

• Be alert for DOTD equipment, truckers, and workers performing anti-icing/de-icing work on the bridges and roadways.

Also, be cautious of black ice---a thin, transparent layer of ice accumulation that can be visually hard to detect on bridges, overpasses, off-ramps and in shady spots. As always, DOTD reminds motorists to buckle up and refrain from drinking and driving.