ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Starting Monday, Madisonville drivers will see a change put to the test which could address a long-standing traffic complaint tied to the Louisiana Highway 22 bridge over the Tchefuncte River.
Instead of the drawbridge opening every hour between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays, it will remain closed at 8 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., which are peak traffic periods.
On weekends, the bridge will continue to open every hour between 6 a.m and 7 p.m.
The U.S. Coast Guard working in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development will run a traffic study with the temporary drawbridge opening schedule. They will also study the impact of installing a traffic signal at Main Street and Highway 22 to replace the current four-way stop.
Officials say these temporary changes will be used to determine the best permanent solutions to the traffic challenges.
According to St. Tammany Parish President, Pat Brister, "It is through these collaborative efforts that we find lasting solutions. While these measures are temporary, they are part of a bigger effort to permanently resolve this problem."
The drawbridge schedule changes and traffic studies will run through May of 2017.