The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) held two informational meetings on Tuesday to receive public input on various proposals to reduce the number of traffic accidents and fatalities on Louisiana Highway 3235, the 16-mile long four lane highway that runs the length of the 10th Ward from Larose south thru Golden Meadow.
The meetings were held at the Golden Meadow Town Hall and the South Lafourche High School library.
With ever increasing passenger and commercial traffic on that highway, due largely in part to the growth of Port Fourchon, accidents and fatalities, especially at key intersection on the roadway, have exceeded the state average in recent years.
According to data compiled by DOTD, some 286 total vehicle crashes have occurred in the sixteen-mile stretch between 2010 and 2012. Eight-four have occurred at one of the four major intersections on the roadway and there have been seven fatalities in that time span.
DOTD is proposing a number of alternatives to help address the safety issues of the road, including either the placing of U-turn lanes at certain intersections or what is known as an RCUT or restricted crossing U-turn intersections at the major intersections of Highway 3235 and Highways 657, 3161, 3162 and Oakridge Lane in Golden Meadow.
The major safety feature of an RCUT intersection is that it reduces left turn and rear end crashes, one of the most frequent types of crashes on the corridor.
According to DOTD, the crash rate at the intersection of Highway 3162, (Walmart intersection in Galliano), is well above the state average with more than 50 percent of the crashes at this intersection involving southbound left turns.
There have been two fatality accidents at this intersection in the last two years.
The crash rate at the intersection at Highway 3151, (Royal Daiquiris on the corner in Cut Off), is also above the state average and there has been one fatality at this intersection in the last two years.
Upgrades would also be made to signage and lighting along the corridor.
“We are just at the beginning stages of public comment on this proposed project,” said Dante Bravo, an engineer with CH2MHill, an engineering firm working on various proposals for the project.
Officials noted that these are still concepts and any work is still likely three to five years away.
“Any improvements to the highway that will lead to fewer accidents and a safer driving experience is always welcome,” said Golden Meadow Chief of Police Reggie Pitre.
Golden Meadow Mayor Joey Bouziga was also on hand and thanked the DOTD staff for presenting the options for public input.
“We are on theses local highways every day and the local citizens input into their daily experiences on these roads will help to make the final project the best it can be,” he said.
The charts on display at the meetings will be on display in the coming weeks at the South Lafourche Library in Galliano and they will also be available online in the coming days at the South Central Planning and Development website, www.scpdc.org.
Should anyone want to submit written comments on the project please send them to: Arcadis US, Inc., 10352 Plaza Americana Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70816, Attention: LA3235 Project Manager.
Posted on Fri, January 23, 2015
by Doug Cheramie II, Contributing Writer