ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, La. (WGNO) — Parts of Interstate 55 remain closed, and the Louisiana Department of Transportation doesn’t plan to reopen it until after the inspection is completely over. This means truckers are having to find a different route without too much traffic.
“If you’re stuck on the road, there’s nothing you can do,” says one driver.
“It’s hard to get in and out of places,” says another driver.
Following Monday’s catastrophic pileup along Interstate 55, truck drivers have no choice but to find alternative routes to work around the disruption.
Debra Hutchinson says the extended closure is causing major delays for truckers.
“We are supposed to pull our truck off the road, look at our GPS or atlas, and decide what other routes are available to us. Because we have an eleven-hour clock and if that clock runs out while you are on that road, you are stuck for ten hours,” says Hutchinson.
Truck lots near Laplace were packed as many tried to navigate around the closure. One driver explains when it comes to finding new routes, what’s easy for a small car isn’t so easy for 18-wheelers.
“Because you can’t just turn them around. You have to wait until they clear you a path. Sometimes it takes close to two hours to get here, depending on the traffic and we go all around,” says Hutchinson.
As far as a timeline, DOTD officials say it’s still too early to tell. They may have to do additional work following the inspection.
“We don’t know what we are going to find yet, there are areas that need to be inspected. We are going to do a ground penetrating radar. We are going to do some core drilling. We are looking for cracks and shifts in the deck,” says DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett.
Hutchinson says the best thing truckers can do in circumstances like this is be prepared.
“If you are not aware, you are just going to be stuck. If you are aware of the situation beforehand, then you can turn around and prepare for it. You know you can pull your truck over and prepare for what else you can do,” says Hutchinson.
DOTD asks drivers to use the 511 la.org app to see where traffic is and to find alternative routes.
- Life after prison simulation helps community, lawmakers understand re-entry hurdles
- 5 takeaways from the latest indictment of Hunter Biden
- UPenn president Magill resigns in wake of antisemitism controversy
- Florida school district adding 4-day weekends to combat chronic absences
- Toys for Tots in New Orleans requesting toy donations amid inflation, increased need