SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - If you’ve driven down Spring Street in downtown Shreveport, you might have noticed something new at one of the stop lights--a turning signal.
At the corner of Spring and Texas Streets is where you can find this signal, and while many feel it’s long overdue, the Louisiana Department of Transportation doesn’t have plans to keep it up for long.
For years, drivers had to wait-out the traffic if they wanted to turn left onto Spring Street.
“Every single night you come down here and you can’t ever go that way,” says driver, Robert Bilderback. "You’d have to go down and turn around on the other side of the river.”
“During five o’clock traffic, you couldn’t get in the left turning lane," said driver Courtney Scott. " You could not even go across the bridge.”
However, there’s a catch, the signal won’t be staying for long.
Erin Buchanan, with the Louisiana Department of Transportation, says they put up what they call a protective left turn because they are getting ready to start construction on the Texas Street Bridge.
“We’re going to be doing quite a bit of work on the bridge and as a result of some of those lane closure restrictions, traffic phasing, all of that is going to be required in order for the contractor to safely complete the work," Buchanan says.
The $15 million project will take over a year to complete. Drivers will have that same time to enjoy the option of turning, but Buchanan says there is a chance it could become permanent.
“We’ll see how this affects traffic movement throughout the project; keeping in mind that we also have a construction project going as well, so it may be something that warrants support staying in place," according to Buchanan.
For right now, drivers are hopeful LaDOTD will see how much it’s needed and hope it stays.
“It’s already up, they just need to leave it up," said Bilderback. "Don’t waste no money taking it down, we need that.”
Construction on the Texas Street Bridge will begin sometime in late February or early March.
LaDOTD says the reason they never put a turn signal on Spring Street in the past is because the engineering data didn’t support them putting one at that location.