QUESTION: What is the story on improving the intersection at Nicholson and Lee? I thought this question was asked a couple of years ago, and the response was that Nicholson was going to be widened, but so far nothing has happened. The traffic at rush hour on Nicholson can be backed up for a very considerable distance in both directions.

ANSWER: Jonathan Charbonnet, a program manager with CSRS Inc., the firm that oversees the city-parish Green Light Plan, notes that the $12 million Nicholson/Brightside project is a joint state/city-parish project with shared responsibilities and coordination.

Improvements to the intersection will include a dedicated left turn lane and two through lanes at each approach of the intersection, he said. The project will also raise the elevation and smooth out the existing transition through the railroad crossing and provide pedestrian friendly access.

The project is in design review with comments provided by the state Department of Transportation and Development and being addressed by the Green Light Plan design consultant, he said.

DOTD is finalizing rights-of-way purchases along the route as well as finalizing an agreement among the state, city-parish and CN Railroad.

“Upon completion of the design and finalization of the railroad agreement and right of way, the project will be advertise for construction,” Charbonnet said. “We anticipate the project will advertise this spring/early summer.”

No plans to install barriers

QUESTION: Is there any talk of creating some sort of barrier or guide for those turning right from Old Hammond onto Florida? Currently there is an acceleration lane, but it is rarely used as intended by motorists, which causes backups on Old Hammond. Rather than motorists coming to a stop, then turning into the acceleration lane, they come to a stop and wait for an opening in the travel lanes and then pull directly into those lanes. There is a similar issue at the westbound exit of Interstate 10 at Essen to turn right. Motorists come to a stop rather than continuing on in the lane that merges. Both of these cause unnecessary backups.

ANSWER: Lauren Lee, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation and Development, says:

“There are no plans to install barriers at this location. As for the issue of motorists not using the acceleration lanes as intended, this situation should be addressed with law enforcement.”

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