The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has announced that they will close the Lee Street and Prairie Street railroad crossings in New Iberia.  The closures will be permanent and are prompted by safety issues.

DOTD expects to close the crossings by the end of next week in order to improve driver safety along the rail corridor.

The department says drivers can still use alternative rail crossings in the same area.  Those have increased safety mechanisms, and DOTD says it will reduce the potential for train-related accidents.

DOTD says there is a train accidents with cars and pedestrians once every two hours in the United States.

As a result of the potential for these accidents, DOTD continually reviews railroad crossings across the state to identify those that could be closed to increase driver safety.

They say the two crossings at Lee Street and Prairie Street will be closed because they are in close proximity to other crossings with active warning safety devices, which greatly reduce the potential for crashes.

DOTD Secretary Sherri LeBas says, "The safety of the traveling public is the number one priority for DOTD. Closing these crossings and redirecting traffic to crossings with enhanced safety equipment will greatly improve safety for drivers along this corridor."

DOTD says they came to the decision for the closures after multiple meetings with state and local officials.  They also held workshops for public feedback.

After the closures are put into place, drivers will need to cross at a different location. The nearest crossings for each are listed below:

  • Drivers currently using the crossing at Lee Street can either travel west and cross at Ann Street, or travel east and cross at Lewis Street.
  • Drivers currently using the crossing at Prairie Street can either travel east and cross at Ann Street, or travel west and cross at Bank Street.