Baton Rouge, LA(KSLA)- The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced that the department's staff is prepared to deal with winter weather and icy road conditions since there is a possibility of snow, rain and sleet is in the forecast in north Louisiana.
DOTD will be monitoring the roadways for ice, and maintenance forces will be on standby to apply sand and salt over any affected bridges and roadways, to remove fallen trees from the roadway, and to close any roads as needed.
DOTD is urging motorists to use extra caution when traveling on roadways during hazardous weather conditions and stay off the roads whenever possible. DOTD is doing everything possible to keep Louisiana's highways and interstate system open in the event of snow and will be prioritizing the maintenance and opening of routes based on traffic volumes.
During winter weather conditions, motorists should 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-a thin, transparent layer of ice accumulation that can be visually hard to detect on bridges, overpasses, off-ramps and in shady spots.
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. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). 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.