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State officials warn after drivers seen navigating around barricades on Miss. River Bridge

Updated: Feb. 15, 2021 at 2:42 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland and Security Preparedness (GOHSEP) issued a warning about the dangers of driving around barricades, after a tweet circulated on social media.

“Never drive around barricades if you’re faced with dangerous road conditions,” the tweet said.

In a picture shared by WAFB Meteorologist Dr. Steve Caparotta, several vehicles were seen traveling on an iced-over portion of I-10 at the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge.

“We’re told by officials the bridge is closed, but vehicles are going around the barricades,” Caparotta said.

The east and westbound lanes of I-10 were closed on both sides of the bridge before 2 a.m. due to winter weather and freezing conditions, according to the Department of Transportation and Development.

“It is unsafe and unlawful to drive onto a closed road past a ‘road closed’ barricade at anytime for any reason,” DOTD says.

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Over the past two days, Louisiana State Police says troopers have investigated nearly 150 crashes. Travel at this time is highly discouraged.

“Citizens are urged to remain indoors and stay off of affected roadways. Bridges and overpasses across the state are the first to accumulate ice and can cause dangerous situations,” LSP said in a press release sent out Monday afternoon.

Find the most up-to-date road closure information by visiting www.511LA.org, calling 511, or downloading the Louisiana 511 smartphone application.

If travel is unavoidable, LSP offers the following winter weather driving tips:

  • Reduce speed and allow extra time to reach your destination
  • Increase your following distance behind other vehicles
  • Do not drive using the cruise control in icy conditions
  • Anticipate stops (such as stop signs and traffic signals) and brake gently while stopping
  • Be aware that ice may be difficult to see and is especially likely to be present on overpasses, bridges, and shady spots on the roadway
  • If you encounter a skid, take your foot off of the accelerator and steer into the skid until you regain control
  • Use low beam headlights if it is raining or sleeting
  • Watch for slow-moving DOTD vehicles as well as first responders
  • Move over or, if unable to move over, reduce speed for emergency vehicles on the shoulder
  • Ensure all vehicle occupants are properly restrained

If you experience difficulties or witness hazardous situations while on the highway, you may notify the nearest State Police Troop by dialing *LSP (*577) from your cell phone.

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