With the possibility of snow, rain and sleet for Acadiana Tuesday through Wednesday, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development says they are preparing to deal with winter weather and icy road conditions.

They remind you that if you have to drive during these hazardous conditions, they ask that you use extreme caution.

DOTD plans is to pretreat some portions of the interstates and major corridors to keep them open as long as possible. However, elevated highways are especially susceptible to icing during prolonged freezing temperatures.

The Department of Transportation wants drivers to remember they do not have enough equipment or resources to keep all bridges in Acadiana or the state open, so any bridge or roadway that is unsafe will be closed to traffic.

DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas,

"DOTD staff and other local and state agencies worked tirelessly to keep as many roads open as they could during last week's winter weather event. We saw the elevated portions, such as I-10 over the Atchafalaya Basin and Mississippi River Bridge, freeze and take a while to thaw. These conditions should be taken seriously. Don't drive unless you have to."

Here are five safety tips that DOTD would like you to keep in mind:

  • Drive slowly, carefully, and avoid driving while distracted
  • Allow for extra driving time
  • Reduce speeds when visibility is low
  • Make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles
  • 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.
  • As always, DOTD reminds motorists to buckle up and refrain from drinking and driving. In addition, motorists need to be on the look-out for DOTD work vehicles applying de-icing material to area bridges and overpasses.

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.

If you are an out-of-state traveler, you can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).

You can also get the information at www.511la.org.

DOTD says they are ready with supplies to do the following:

  • Apply de-icing materials over any affected bridges and roadways
  • Remove fallen trees from the roadway
  • Close any roads, if needed