DOTD and LSP warn drivers to stay off roadway during winter weather

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A spokesman for the Department of Transportation and Development said Monday, they plan to keep the roads around the metro area open as long as they can. Once barricades are blocking roads, they suggest you stay home and not travel around. That's because they say, most drivers aren't used to driving in these conditions.

"The key is don't travel. Don't travel," said Rodney Mallet, with DOTD. He says it's a warning people may not like, but it is a necessary precaution.

Monday, crews on the local and state level loaded trucks with sand to treat roads once the weather moves in.

Mallet says road closures are to be expected, rather than risk large car pile ups.

"Trucks sliding down the bridge, cars out of control," Mallet said. He says one thing they learned from Friday's ice storm, cars can not make it over are bridges. "There was really thick ice on both bridges."

Icy situations are worse over elevated sections of roadway, he says. For example, the Interstate 10 bridge over the Mississippi River.

"That's going to be a problem in South Louisiana ... And then to make it more complicated, if it's elevated and over water it'll freeze even faster and stay frozen longer."

With that in mind, state police say they plan to have more troopers out on the roads. Several agencies, including police, are coming up with alternate travel routes if the major roadways are closed.

Troopers also have a piece of advice for anyone thinking of venturing out on the roads once things get nasty.

"We just ask that if you don't need to be out in this type of weather, just please stay home," said Trooper Jared Sandifer.

Sandifer added that if curfews are in effect and drivers are found out after that time, they will be ticketed.

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