Caution urged on Highway 171 - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Caution urged on Highway 171

May 31, 2007
By Theresa Schmidt

Motorists are always pleased when construction wraps up on a heavily traveled road or highway. But it's also a time for extreme caution for drivers traveling Highway 171 near Ragley and Longville.

Longville resident Dana Deville says they've been dealing with the construction for a long time.  "They lay it and then they keep ripping it up, so it just takes more time."

Deville and others welcome the opening of Highway 171 from two way traffic on one road to four lanes on both roads. Says Lara Busby, "We will love it because slower traffic, faster traffic, I think it will be a lot less accidents. There's always accidents out here because of just two lanes."

Resident Zachary Thomas says it'll improve the passenger ride too. "It's a whole lot easier especially if you have to ride the school bus. You won't have to be weaving in and out of traffic and all that other mess."

But for motorists who are used to the way it's been, more lanes means change.  As driver Busby found out,  change can be confusing. "I'm excited that it's open but this morning, on the way to work, there weren't any flag people or signage and I kind of broke every driving rule. I was headed in head on traffic. So, if they had the proper signage, great, I love the four lane. Whenever I got to the overpass intersection near 190 and 171 their arrows were actually pointing both directions, so I didn't know which way to go. Came around the overpass and then, couldn't make a left hand turn, so I did a U turn."

State transportation officials urge drivers to use extreme caution in the area of Highways 190 and 12 and to make sure to stop where required and to pay close attention to signs to avoid going the wrong way.

Friday changes to four lanes on 171 from the Barnes Bridge north of Longville to Louisiana Highway 26. For the latest on highway advisories click here for a link to the State Department of Transportation and Development.

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