Emergency preparedness amid I-10 traffic congestion

Emergency preparedness amid I-10 traffic congestion

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The work along Interstate 10 has been underway now for several months and this week marks the start of numerous lane closures along the busy highway.

What exactly will that mean for drivers and emergency responders? 7News spoke with Acadian Ambulance who say they’re making sure they have the proper protocol in place to answer that call amongst the congestion.

Billy Vincent, Quality control coordinator with Acadian Ambulance, says their team has an extensive plan in place to respond to emergencies in a timely manner, even with all the traffic.

“We are making sure that we have appropriate assets in place on both sides of the construction project,” said Vincent, “So that we have assets deployed and strategically placed to respond from either side of the construction to wherever an emergency may occur.”

New construction projects begin this week which has reduced most of the traffic down to one lane, especially for drivers traveling eastbound on I-10.

Due to the new construction pattern, DOTD is backing up the completion date till November for one project and until February of 2019 for two other projects.

Here in Louisiana, emergency responders have approximately eight minutes to respond to a call.

Toby, a supervisor with Acadian Ambulance, says the traffic along I-10 can be a problem, however, it hasn’t affected their response time as of yet, but it does take a community effort.

“It’s only affecting us moving to and from Sulphur and back and forth to Moss Bluff, but in the city of Lake Charles, it really hasn’t affected our response times," Toby said.

Cpl. Dougherty with Lake Charles police say they’ve also added on extra man power to assist with the traffic in construction zones.

“As the construction progresses and moves over to the 210 corridor, those patrols will continue," said Dougherty.

Officials continue to stress the importance of planning ahead when traveling along the interstate along with remembering to yield to emergency vehicles.

The following projects are currently under construction. Timelines are subject to change. All work is weather permitting.

I-10 District Cable Barriers

· Start time: March 2018

· Expected completion: Late 2018

· Work Type: Installing cable barriers in median

· Limits of work: Work consist of installing cable barrier within the I-10 Median.

Calcasieu Parish: Located on Route I-10 from West of its interchange with Route LA 27 to its interchange at Sampson St.

Jefferson Davis Parish: Located on Route I-10 in Jefferson Davis Parish from the Calcasieu Parish Line to the Acadia Parish Line.

· Closures: Jeff Davis, Calcasieu Parish

I-10 Cal. River Bridge Maintenance

· Start time: October 2018

· Expected completion: December 2018

· Work Type: Bridge maintenance

· Limits of work: I-10 Calcasieu River Bride MP 27-29

I-10: LA 99 – Acadia Parish Line

· Start time: October 2018

· Expected completion: February 2019

· Work Type: Roadway surfacing and striping

· Limits of work: I-10 east and westbound from MP 54 (Welsh) to MP 65.5 (Acadia Parish Line)

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