There have been several letters to the editor in recent weeks addressing the daily traffic congestion at the I-10/I-110 merge off of the bridge. The most common suggestion to help alleviate the problem is closing the Washington Street exit. The exit, however, contributes only a small part to the congestion as very few vehicles use the exit in comparison to the total volume of traffic coming off of the bridge. Even if the Washington exit is closed, vehicles would still have only approximately two-tenths of a mile to merge the two exit lanes into one.

Much better would be to close both the Washington exit and entrance ramps and to extend the merge lane all the way to Dalrymple. This would not completely solve the problem, but it would triple the distance allowed for a merge, adding approximately one half-mile to the merge lane. There would still be a problem with Dalrymple exit vehicles, but the added distance would allow for a more orderly transition. This is not presented as being a permanent solution to an interstate designer’s supreme mess but could well serve temporarily until a new bridge and bypass is built south of the existing I-10 bridge, which is the only real solution for those vehicles continuing east on I-10.

Paul Major