DOTD sees uptick in accidents along construction zones on I-10; stressing safety to motorists

ACADIANA, La. (KLFY) – The Department of Transportation and Development has seen an increase in accidents along the 16-mile long construction zone stretching along I-10, from I-49 to the Atchafalaya Basin.

“And one of the things that we’ve noticed is that we’ve seen increasing rate of accidents that have occurred in the construction zones since we’ve started,” said Deidra Druilhet, Public Information Officer with the Department of Transportation and Development.

DOTD is implementing new procedures to keep drivers safe, especially with the narrow lanes and the condition of the roads.

“Number one be sure to be cognizant of when you’re entering a construction zone. We do have those reduced speed limits there for a reason,” said Druilhet.

Because of the increase in traffic along I-10, contractors are tearing up the original pavement and replacing it, as well as widening all of the bridges in the area. Druilhet is urging drivers to be aware of their surroundings and watch out for construction workers.

“We want to discourage motorists from changing lanes in construction zones. Often times, those lands in some of those areas, they may be a bit narrow, or it may not be the best condition for you to change lanes,” Druilhet said.

DOTD also wants to put up a number of speed detection systems, as well as another system warning motorists that they are entering the construction zone before they do so.

Mitchell Davis is a frequent driver along I-10 and says the construction can be scary.

“People going fast, and the bumpiness of the road,” he said.

Adam Mache works for Associated Grocery in Baton Rouge and makes frequent trips throughout the state for his job, and believes the construction is a plus.

“I think it’s going to be a good project once it’s finished. It’s going to ease up some of the congestion between Baton Rouge and Lafayette,” he said.

DOTD says that there will also be a significant increase in state police patrol in the area. The construction along I-10 is not scheduled to be completed until summer of 2020.

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