State workers next week will revamp a controversial exit route off the new Mississippi River Bridge, officials said to-day.
The current setup, which has come under fire from motorists and state lawmakers, requires westbound traffic on the bridge headed for La. 1 to us the right “exit only” lane.
The change will return traffic patterns to their previous con-figuration, which allowed west-bound motorists on the three-lane stretch to take the Plaquemine and Port Allen exit from the middle or right lanes.
Officials of the state Depart-ment of Transportation and Development made the change in August, 2010 because they thought it would improve traf-fic flow.
“It just does not perform as we expected that it would,” said DOTD Secretary Sherri LeBas.
“It is just as simple as that,” she added.
The work will require the clo-sure of westbound lanes on Sept. 13-15 between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
During those times west-bound traffic over the bridge will be limited to one lane from the Interstate 10/110 split to the La. 1 exit in West Baton Rouge Parish.
In addition, the La. 1 exit ramp will be closed for about three hours on the night of Sept. 13 sometime between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Sept. 14.
The work will cost about $68,000, state officials said.
West Baton Rouge Parish law enforcement officials told law-makers earlier this year that the current lane configuration triggered a rash of accidents.