ASK THE ADVOCATE: Road elevations

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --  Drivers make their way through congested construction areas along O'Neal Lane, south of I-10.   Show caption
Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Drivers make their way through congested construction areas along O'Neal Lane, south of I-10.

When I see streets being widened (like O’Neal Lane), I always want to know why some are built so much lower than the original road. I would think that making them lower would create areas for flooding.

Response from Dustin Annison, public information officer with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development:

“DOTD conducts a thorough drainage study during the design phase of its projects. In cases where the available right-of-way is limited, an attempt is made to design the roadway in a way that it is part of the drainage system. A lower roadway allows surface water from the adjacent land to flow over the curb, into the gutter and then to drainage basins installed at the edge of the roadway. This eliminates the need to place wide and deep drainage pipes and catch basins beyond the roadway, minimizing-right of-way requirements.”

Siegen off-ramp

Now that the westbound construction is winding down on Interstate 10, it appears that the westbound exit lane at Siegen Lane is being left as a narrow one lane until right at Siegen where it breaks off into a turn lane going north and south. Are there any plans to widen this exit lane to two lanes because traffic backs up all the way down this lane, making it impossible to turn for many light cycles?

Response from Dustin Annison, public information officer with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development:

“The state has committed more than $315 million on widening the I-10 and I-12 corridors to increase capacity and safety through the greater Baton Rouge area.

“At this time, there are no plans to widen this off-ramp. However, upon the completion of the Geaux Wider projects, DOTD will monitor traffic throughout the corridor to look for additional opportunities to improve traffic flow.”