DOTD Chief: Major Highways Update [VIDEO]
Dr. Shawn Wilson, Secretary of the state's Department of Transportation and Development updates the condition of the major thoroughfares across our part of the state.
"We know this isn't going to get much better until we get above freezing for a significant period of time," Wilson says, "The biggest hurdle is that we have nightly refreezing...and we can only keep us as much as our resources and abilities allow. It will start thawing (Friday) and we will begin the digging out process and maintaining what already have open."
And Wilson respond to criticism that his department hasn't done enough. "We've had over 1,400 people across the state - primarily in north Louisiana - following the weather in advance of this storm, salting and brining. The reality is, when you get...two inches of ice, no amount of salt is going to make a difference. We do what we know how to do, but we can't overcome Mother Nature.
Adding that his department has spread three and a half million pounds of salt on state roads, most of that interstate concrete, "We don't have the snow plows you see in other states," he adds, "Because that's just not a practical solution for us, But we do use motor graders, we use skid steers, we use attachments on our existing equipment...that effectively works as a snow plow.
"Right now we have (Interstate) 20 opened as best we can and, to a certain degree, traffic helps us keep the roads open and keep them from refreezing. We focus on on and off ramps and elevated structures and, of course, the road itself."
For the latest travel conditions, visit 511 Traveler Information. You can find information regarding road closures by downloading the Louisiana 511 mobile app or by visiting the 511 Traveler Information website at 511la.org. This website is updated in real time with changing road conditions.