O’Neal Lane left turns  slated to be restricted

Both northbound and southbound left-turns along O’Neal Lane from Firewood Drive to Medical Center Drive at Oschner Health Center will be restricted beginning on Friday as part of the next phase of a road widening project.

The left-turn restriction is expected to remain in place for about six months, weather permitting, according to a East Baton Rouge city-parish news release.

The left-turn restriction is in place so work crews can install a new sewer force main along the middle of O’Neal Lane and complete construction on the roadway’s inside lanes.

Northbound traffic on O’Neal Lane is expected to be redirected to the newly constructed outer northbound travel lane Friday morning, at which point crews will begin preparing the roadway for excavation and installation of the sewer pipeline.

Left turns from cross streets and business driveways onto O’Neal Lane along this stretch of roadway will also be restricted throughout the closure period.

Drivers requiring access to the cross streets and to businesses are encouraged to use designated U-turn areas with signals, located at Medical Center Drive and Firewood Drive, in lieu of normal left-turn movement.

Drivers who need access to Interstate 12 and areas north of Interstate 12 are encouraged to use alternate routes, including South Harrell’s Ferry Road, Millerville Road and Old Hammond Highway.

Signs warning of the left-turn restrictions will be posted on O’Neal Lane in both directions approaching the area.

City-parish officials warn drivers to exercise caution. They said travel times could be affected by the detours.

The O’Neal Lane widening project is part of the city-parish’s voter approved Green Light Plan, funded with a half-cent sales tax.

The O’Neal project is part of several different projects in the area called the Southeast Area Group Project, which is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the city-parish. The project includes improvements on South Harrell’s Ferry and O’Neal Lane.

When complete, O’Neal Lane will have two additional through lanes, sidewalks and a raised median from south of South Harrell’s Ferry Road intersection to 1,250 feed south of Interstate 12. Ultimately the Southeast Area Group Projects will provide an improved north-south connection extending from Nicholson Drive to Hooper Road.