St. Tammany Parish officials announced today that long-standing traffic challenges on Louisiana Highway 22 in Madisonville are set to be addressed beginning Monday, November 21, 2016. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD), will implement a temporary drawbridge opening schedule and traffic study. The Madisonville drawbridge will remain closed during the week, at 8 a.m., 5 pm., and 6p.m. and open on the hour for the remainder of the day through 7p.m. It will open on signal between 7p.m. – 6a.m. On weekends, the bridge will open every hour from 6 a.m. -7p.m. At the same time, three separate traffic studies will begin at the intersection of Main Street and Louisiana Highway 22 (Mulberry Street), including the installation of a traffic signal in lieu of a four-way stop sign.
These temporary changes are part of a plan to determine what permanent solutions to traffic challenges — both marine and automobile— will ultimately be implemented. “It is gratifying to me to see agencies working together to face challenges in our community,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “It is through these collaborative efforts that we find lasting solutions. While these measures are temporary, they are part of a bigger effort to permanently resolve this problem. We appreciate the patience of motorists and mariners as we work on this issue.”
“For District 4, this traffic is a concern that residents have brought to me since the start of my term as their Councilman,” said Mike Lorino, St. Tammany Parish Councilman, District 4. “I would like to thank the USCG, the LADOTD, Senator Jack Donahue, Representatives Schroder and Falconer, and Mayor Pelloat for their enduring efforts to begin to find solutions through working together. And I would like to thank residents and boaters, in advance, for their patience as we work toward a permanent solution. We realize that everyone is affected, and we will do our best to find an all-encompassing resolution. ”
“I am very excited about the new temporary closure times for the Madisonville Bridge. This change is designed to improve traffic flow through the Town of Madisonville during peak drive-time hours without a significant impact on our river boaters,” said Jean Pelloat, Mayor of Madisonville. “I am equally pleased with the three planned studies to be conducted over the next several months in cooperation with St. Tammany Parish Government, LADOTD, our State representatives and the USCG. I would like to thank everyone who has been working so diligently to improve the traffic flow through our community and trust that the upcoming studies will produce a permanent solution that will be embraced by both land transportation and water vessel traffic.”
The deviation in the drawbridge schedule will run through May of 2017, and the traffic studies will occur during the same timeframe.