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Highway Safety Project Begins In New Orleans East

Plans are underway to make the commute along I-10 in New Orleans East safer.

The DOTD announced plans to install 8-miles of median cable barriers along the busy interstate.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter has details and reaction from drivers.

It’s a scene in New Orleans East that commuters have seen far too often — police and emergency vehicles responding to a collision with injuries.

“I think everybody drives fast in the morning trying to get to work,” driver Jeffrey Johnson said.

The State Department of Transportation and Development has announced plans to install median cable barriers along I-10 in New Orleans East.

“Well it’ll help prevent cars from coming off the road, you know, people not paying attention and stuff like that,” neighbor Randy Weston said.

“I think it’s best, really I do because people have a problem with staying in their lanes. I don’t know if they’re distracted or what and once you’re in the grass you’re going for a ride,” Johnson said.

The barriers, which have already gone up in other areas, are designed to prevent vehicles from crossing the median and traveling into oncoming traffic.

“When a cross over accident occurs it usually results in a series of injuries and fatalities. So by having the cable barrier there we are seeing that it is saving lives,” DOTD Secretary Sherri LeBas explained.

The safety project will focus on 8-miles of median between I-510 and the Twin Span Bridge.

It’s an area that has been prone to fog, and has a history of marsh fires.

“And so with lights being out and not having cable barriers it has been a very dangerous area. I can tell you myself when I would travel along that area I’m driving in the far right hand lane because I just wanted to give myself that extra second in case a vehicle was to come over,” State Rep. Austin Badon added.

The work in New Orleans East is part of a 6.3 billion dollar statewide transportation improvement project.

Road crews are currently surveying areas with high crossover rates.

“Eventually we will complete and get installed nearly 330 miles of cable barriers. That is our goal.”

The 1.2 million dollar project in New Orleans east is expected to be completed by December.