Plaquemine exit returning to normal after lane closures

Deidre Cruse

The two outside westbound lanes of the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Tuesday (September 13) for state highway crews to begin reinstalling the original lane configuration.  The Plaquemine exit to La. 1 at Port Allen will be closed for some three hours during that time, the Department of Transportation and Development said in a news release.

The two outside lanes – but not the exit ramp – will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday (September 14-15)

Through traffic will be limited to one lane of travel on I-10 Westbound from the I-10/ I-110 split to the La. 1 exit in West Baton Rouge Parish.

Restriping work will be included in a previously scheduled project to replace overhead signage on the bridge to comply with new federal signage requirements.  The change will cost around $68,000.

Once the change is implemented, all I-10 westbound traffic across the Mississippi River Bridge exiting to Port Allen and Plaquemine will again be able to use the center and right lanes.

As before, drivers in the center lane will also have the option to continue on I-10 westbound across the bridge. The left lane will continue to serve bridge through traffic.

The current lane configuration was implemented in August 2010 as part of the I-10 Mississippi Bridge signing and striping project, and was designed to improve traffic flow on the bridge to allow for more balanced traffic volumes across all three westbound lanes on the bridge.

At the request of Louisiana Legislature, DOTD reviewed traffic flow across the bridge to assess the changes and found that there was no significant improvement.  The study found slightly improved travel times for traffic on I-10 continuing across the bridge, but not for traffic exiting for Port Allen/ Plaquemine.

In the future, DOTD said it might revisit the use of the lane configuration if it is  determined that increases in I-10 traffic volumes across the bridge warrant a redistribution of traffic volumes.

Also this month, DOTD will be performing routine bridge inspections for the bridge on I-10 at Dalrymple and the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge. Both projects will require some weekend lane closures.

DOTD has scheduled these closures so that they will not take place on game days for LSU or Southern University football games.  DOTD will perform routine bridge inspection work on I-10 at Dalrymple from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday (September 11). During this time, eastbound and westbound travel will be limited to two lanes.

DOTD will perform routine bridge inspection work on the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, September 18, Saturday, September 24, and Sunday, September 25. On Sept. 18 and Sept. 24,

The outer right lane will be closed to westbound travel on September 18 and 24. The outer right lane will be closed for eastbound travel on September 25. The westbound Nicholson on-ramp also will be closed. Traffic can instead use the Florida Street on-ramp. All other entrance and exit ramps will remain open during inspection work.