PONCHATOULA, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana State Troopers are asking people to prepare for traffic delays and to be careful ahead of this year's Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival.
The festival will take place April 10th through April 12th and is expected to bring over 300,000 visitors to the downtown Ponchatoula area. The increased traffic causes major backups and heavily congested off ramps that force closures of some interstate exits.
To try to keep down congestion, Louisiana State Police Troop L have offered alternative routes for entering and exiting the downtown Ponchatoula area.
From Baton Rouge: Exit Interstate 12 Eastbound at Pumpkin Center Exit #35, proceed south to LA 22, then continue east on LA 22 into Ponchatoula.
From Covington/Slidell: Exit Interstate 12 Westbound at LA 445 exit #47, proceed south to LA 22, then continue west on LA 22 into Ponchatoula.
From Mandeville: Take LA 22 west into Ponchatoula.
From New Orleans area: Take the Causeway Bridge into Mandeville and proceed to LA 22 west into Ponchatoula.
During the festival, State Police and local law enforcement will also be looking out for impaired drivers and drivers not wearing seatbelts. You can report any impaired drivers or any unsafe roadway conditions to Louisiana State Troopers by dialing *LSP (*577) from your cell phone and you will be connected to the nearest State Police office.