Baton Rouge interstate construction frustrates drivers, even as it nears completion

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POSTED: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 5:15pm

UPDATED: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 5:19pm

Drivers have been crawling their way through construction zones on I-10 and I-12 for the last three years.

"I stay in Sorrento, so it's take the interstate or Airline,” stated Sorrento resident Addie Washington. “And if you get traffic on the interstate, where is the rest of it going? Airline.”

"I just get up about 15-20 minutes earlier, in case if there is any kind of interference on the interstate, or anything," said Baton Rouge resident Tina Rogers.

Some commuters got a break earlier this year when work on I-12 finished, with 6 lanes running from I-10 to Walker. However, there are still traffic problems in the area.

DOTD says the Geaux Wider project has a few months left. They believe that a New Year's grand opening is possible, but late winter/early spring is more likely, meaning a few more months of thick traffic.

So who holds the key to our city's gridlock? A few of Baton Rouge's busiest drivers are sharing their secrets - things that may help reduce your headache on the roads.

"They definitely have opened up some arteries, like Perkins Road now is a clear run all the way out in that direction and runs parallel with I-10," stated David Heroman with the Original Heroman’s Florist. "Florida's hit or miss, but there's a few cut-throughs, like Sharp Lane or Ardenwood."

Cab driver Fred Claboren agreed, "If everybody else is not taking them, yeah, it normally works."

If you can't avoid the freeway, take a minute to plan ahead. It may save you a lot more time in your car.

"I pretty much get an idea, before I come in," said Claboren.

"We stay on top of it so we don't all of a sudden take a turn or try to get on an exit ramp and see gridlock," stated Heroman.

They say technology is the easiest way to learn about traffic conditions. DOTD posts real-time updates on its BR Traffic twitter feed, and Geaux Wider gives out information on Facebook.

"Google Maps has a traffic app that's really, really good, and it shows you either green, yellow or red, and shows you certain areas of town that are shutting down," said Heroman.

Another idea that's catching on: spending more time than usual at the office.

"I’ve heard of people staying at work an hour or two later, just so they won't meet that traffic," said Baton Rouge resident Roosevelt McQuirter.

But in just a few months' time, Baton Rouge’s traffic construction problem won't be a problem anymore.

"I’m very relieved!” exclaimed Rogers. “I can't wait."

"Happy is not the word,” stated Washington. “I might as well do a dance for them afterwards."

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