Restriping to add an extra lane to part of the Pontchartrain Expressway and adding ramp meters to help reduce congestion on the artery will be discussed by state transportation officials during a public meeting Tuesday evening.
The $3 million project would see a lane returned to the lakebound Interstate 10-Claiborne Avenue interchange and meters, which tell drivers when they can and cannot enter the expressway, installed at some on-ramps.
The state in 2010 reduced the Pontchartrain Expressway from three lanes to two near the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The move was made in an effort to reduce the number of wrecks. Since then, the area has become more heavily congested during rush hour.
Drivers coming off the Crescent City Connection from the West Bank have had to fight with those trying to enter the expressway from ramps at Annunciation Street and O’Keefe Avenue and those trying to get off the expressway at the Earhart Boulevard and Claiborne Avenue ramps.
The ramp meters — in effect, traffic lights — would help to control the flow of traffic onto the expressway at those points.
Design and engineering work has been underway for about a year, and officials are expected to begin seeking bids for the work in September.
The cost of installing the meters would be split between the state Department of Transportation and Development and the Regional Planning Commission.
The restriping portion of the project is expected to cost $1 million and would be paid for with federal funds because it is considered a safety issue.
Work could begin by the end of the year.
The meeting to discuss the changes will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Salvation Army building, 4526 S. Claiborne Ave. Limited parking is available behind the building. Drivers are asked to enter on Cadiz Street.