SORRENTO, LA (WAFB) - Those headed towards New Orleans this weekend might want to allow some extra time to the commute. The Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has a planned closure of the I-10 eastbound lane at U.S. 61., beginning Friday at 9.m. and ending Monday at 5 a.m.
Back in October of 2015, an oversized load smashed into the on-ramp at the Gramercy exit near Sorrento, causing major damage. DOTD has been working on repairs since. "Because of the way this on-ramp is made, it's kind of bent. It's a specially made on-ramp, so they had to do significant repairs, specialized repairs," explained Rodney Mallet with DOTD.
Mallett says instead of 18 closures to fix the ramp, the department decided to condense it into a couple of days and just a couple of closures.
"They went out there with a contractor and removed the damaged part. They took it to a repair yard that's set up right there by the interstate and made the repairs. Now they're going to hook it back on," said Mallet.
Those repairs resulted in the planned closure of I-10 at US 61. WAFB's traffic reporter, Johnny Ahysen, says backups should be expected approaching the construction zone.
Luckily for weekend commuters, there are several alternate routes. "You can take I-12 to I-55. That'll take you back down to I-10 and you can go around the closure," said Mallet.
Ahysen says drivers can also take Airline Hwy. back to Hwy. 641, then get back on I-10. Officials are urging weekend commuters who plan to drive along I-10 to allow extra time to your commute.
DOTD says it will be another month before the on-ramp can be used, but the eastbound lane of I-10 will be open by Monday, June 12 at 5 a.m.