Two new electronic message boards will be installed on both sides of Interstate 10 near the interchanges with I-210 — the first of a five-phase plan to better monitor traffic conditions in the Lake Charles metro area, highway officials said. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Saturday, July 21, 2012 11:20 PM
Two new electronic message boards will be installed on both sides of Interstate 10 near the interchanges with I-210 — the first of a five-phase plan to better monitor traffic conditions in the Lake Charles metro area, highway officials said.
Patrick Landry, a traffic operations engineer for the Department of Transportation and Development, said the signs are part of the federal government’s Intelligence Transportation Systems and are being installed throughout the country. Other local improvements planned include traffic cameras, along with a local traffic monitoring center. A date has not been set to install the signs, he said.
Landry said the signs will display messages alerting motorists to alternate routes when traffic is backed up because of an accident or road construction. He said older signs on Interstate 10 were taken down several years ago because they were outdated.
DOTD officials awarded the design part of the project’s first phase to GEC Inc., a Baton Rouge-based engineering firm, in March 2011. He said the project must be finished and approved by DOTD officials by August 2013.
“The signs will be on a single post near the roadway,” Landry said. “We have to make sure the location meets spacing requirements, and that the power supply doesn’t conflict with utilities.”
The design portion is expected to cost just over $421,000, and the estimated construction cost is $1.5 million, Landry said.
The second phase includes installing surveillance cameras on I-10 near the I-210 interchange. Landry said they will be monitored by local DOTD officials 24 hours a day to check for crashes or other incidents that disrupt traffic. He said he is unsure how many cameras will be installed.
“Our officials can use the cameras to make the best assessment of who to deploy and the best way to approach the scene,” Landry said. “We will also coordinate with state police, local emergency preparedness officials and local law enforcement.”
The second phase will also include turning a vacant building at the local DOTD office into a traffic management center to monitor the traffic cameras. Landry said traffic signals along several busy state routes will be coordinated so officials at the traffic center can make sure they are working properly.
The third and fourth phases include putting in more traffic cameras, and these phases are about three to four years away from starting. Landry said phase four will also call for allowing the statewide traffic management center in Baton Rouge to monitor the cameras if the local center loses power.
Landry said phase five concerns creating an automated system for a manually operated drawbridge on La. 378 between Westlake and Moss Bluff. He said traffic cameras will be installed so officials at the traffic center can remotely operate the bridge if boats need to cross it.
Posted By: Conned citizen. On: 10/27/2012
Title: So What's the new 210 construction?
I've been all over the dotd's site and can't find an explanation for all of the 210 construction of sign posts and concrete bases. These look very similar to the automated toll systems in Texas. There are new posts at every on-ramp and off-ramp and new bases ahead of and behind exits. They are on a very similar layout to the 8 loop in Houston.
Posted By: Al On: 7/22/2012
Title: To Fred
Agree with what you said about the I-10 bridge. And not sure of the need for cameras. But Lake Charles is a metro area - ranked 213 out of 366 metro areas in the U.S. All cities with an urban core of at least 50,000 and outlying population closely tied to the core are considered metro areas.
Posted By: tax paying peon On: 7/22/2012
Title: been done before
DOT put up signs like these years ago, they broke in about a month and stayed broke for years. ten dollars say these will go the same route. DOT can't even kill the grass and TREES that grow INTO THE TRAVEL LANE on the I-210 overpass just off I-10 on the Sulphur side. SPEND THE MONEY ON REPLACING THE I-10 BRIDGE
Posted By: Fred M. On: 7/21/2012
Title: Say WHAT?
First of all, contrary to what some may be believe, the Lake Charles area is not a "metro area". Who came up with that? Second, how about taking the money awarded and apply it toward building a new I-10 bridge. Lastly, from what the public sees of the work done by DOTD (i.e. nothing), what's the real purpose of the cameras? SO they can watch a form of TV and not feel guilty?