Sulphur launches new effort to ease traffic issues in Maplewood

Sulphur launches new effort to ease traffic issues in Maplewood
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

SULPHUR, LA - Sulphur city officials on Wednesday announced a new effort to reduce traffic problems in the Maplewood area associated with the I-10 construction.

Beginning today, employees of the Sulphur Police Department, Sulphur Fire Department, and Public Works Department will direct traffic in the Maplewood area.

The following conditions will be in effect between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., or while traffic congestion persists:

  • If you are traveling north on Cities Service Highway, you must provide a valid reason (such as a home address or the name and address of who you are visiting) to enter the area. No thru traffic will be allowed. All diverted traffic will proceed north to US. 90.
  • If you are traveling south on Cities Service Highway, you will not be allowed to turn left onto Maplewood Drive.
  • If you are traveling east on Maplewood Drive, you will be allowed to continue across Cities Service Highway.

But how did those traveling down this busy area feel about the new plan? Many have sent messages in opposition but others say they liked the new plan but know it's only a temporary thing.

Cones and barricades are what you'll see now at the intersection of Cities Service Highway and Maplewood drive in Sulphur, all to stop heavy traffic from traveling down Maplewood Drive.

"It's going to make it a little bit easier for us to get in an out of old Maplewood here," said Matthew Tonkovich.

City leaders implemented a new traffic plan that would allow only residents, businesses owners or people with a valid reason to travel down Maplewood Drive.

"We're not going to stop every car," said city councilman Stuart Moss."That's not the point. We're going to check and make sure that you're living back here, you're working back here…you know one of the small businesses, and you'll be let through."

While some drivers are learning to deal with the new change and traffic.

"We're from Houston and right here is a mess," said Fernando Espinoza.

"I mean it's bad out here," said Demond Ellis. "I mean y'all see all the work going on, construction and everything, but I guess it is what it is."

Those who live nearby are happy to see something being done, but they know it won't last forever.

"It's a temporary solution, a quick fix," said Tonkovich. "It's not going to stop everything."

While it won't stop everything, some say it's a start.

"There's always going to be people upset, but that's just the nature of the beast," said Tonkovich.

Moss says there's already improvement in the traffic. He says the city plans to keep the travel conditions in place for the rest of the week to see how things go.

City officials say that traffic will continue to be monitored in the area and residents will be notified of any additional changes.

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