NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Beginning today, it might take drivers a little longer to get onto the Pontchartrain Expressway, but Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development officials say it will make for a better commute.
The ramp meters are designed to help alleviate traffic congestion and make merging onto the expressway safer.
A total of seven meters have been installed. The project cost $1.8 million.
There are four on the lakebound side at Annunciation Street, Baronne Street, Loyola Street and Claiborne Avenue. There will be three on the river bound side at Earhart Boulevard, Baronne Street and Magazine Street.
During peak traffic hours, the ramp meter turns red telling a driver to stop for a few seconds. When the light turns green, the driver can move ahead and safely merge onto the expressway.
The goal is to create traffic gaps LDOTD says will decrease congestion, improve travel times and enhance safety.
LDOTD says that data shows ramp meters can reduce accidents by as much as 30 percent.
The meters will go in to effect today at 3 pm but will be activated Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 9 am, and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
They will also be on during special events.
Some drivers say they welcome anything that will help with traffic congestion.