New draft improvement proposal under consideration for the Town of Sterlington. | KTVE

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STERLINGTON, Louisiana (KTVE / KARD) – DOTD is seeking to improve safety along US Highway 165 at Lonewa Road by constructing directional turn-around crossings.

Even though the project’s potential to minimize fatalities is not 100% confirmed, local residents and local business owners say they have serious concerns about traffic and the delays this can cause.

Johnny’s Pizza Manager Donna Smith says she’s been building her business for almost fifteen years, she says she will hate to see her business get hurt due to difficult access for their customers to the building. She says placing a red light instead should be the option.

“Red light doesn’t necessarily help. Said the mayor of Sterlington, Caesar Velasquez.

“It slows down the traffic. You are going to have four lanes which are going to be tight until one lane to exit. Velasquez said.

A mobile gas station manager, Ms Kitty says she’s worked here for almost two decades. She says lowering the speed limit could also help minimize crashes. She says she’s also okay with placing a red light instead.

“I asked them (DOTD) for a reduced speed limit coming from this water tower all the way to the north highway as well, and basically for a reason I think if they drive slowly it will give them more time.” to break in. ”Velasquez added.

According to the DOTD report, there is a high history of fatal crashes at this intersection. This indicates that this type of safety improvement could potentially reduce future accidents by up to 31 percent.

“A big part of what has to happen is that we, as drivers, have to maintain a defensive attitude and make sure that we are driving safely.” Velasquez said.

The DOTD design of the directional half-turn opening will keep the traffic flow with less delay.

“He’s the only one that’s going to be cut.” Velasquez said.

“Now if you want to go south, out of Lonewa Rd just take a right and go to Monroe. If you need to head north, like towards Bastrop, you need to head back south, but you’ll need to get into the left lane to take the turn that will take you back north. said the mayor.

Velazquez says the project may impact some local businesses, but improving safety is first a start

“It’s going to impact them at first, but again, what we’re looking at, and what I hope it’s okay with, just like DOTD, is the safety aspect of it.” He says.

Mayor Velazquez also said he would attend a meeting in the coming weeks to look at other potential options with the DOTD.


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