Several of our “old-timers” tell me this was the worst icing ever experienced on the Causeway. Were it not for the dedication of our maintenance crews, police officers and dispatchers, and the cooperation of our commuters and the news media, this wintery adventure could have quickly become a disaster.
Hundreds of motorists scooted across the icy Lake Pontchartrain Causeway late Wednesday afternoon, taking advantage of a fleeting opportunity to cross from the south shore to St. Tammany Parish on a bridge that has been closed for most of the last two days. Causeway officials opened the bridge’s northbound lanes from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway officials said they hope to reopen the ice-covered bridge by mid- to late morning on Thursday. “If the sun comes out early, that will be the biggest help,” said bridge General Manager Carlton Dufrechou.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway remained closed Wednesday morning due to ice on the bridge, but the span could re-open sometime in the afternoon. “It’s rough to say the least,” bridge General Manager Carlton Dufrechou said.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is closed in both directions due to icing on the span. The decision to close the bridge came around 1:15 p.m.
But bridge General Manager Carlton Dufrechou said the decision was made to close the bridge when icy conditions led to vehicles spinning out.
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway crews have staged de-icing solution and equipment at the north shore toll plaza and are bracing for wintry weather that could be worse than the icy conditions that closed the bridge for much of the day Friday. “If it goes as forecast, it’s going to be a pretty adventurous day tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 28)) and Wednesday (Wednesday, Jan. 29),” bridge General Manager Carlton Dufrechou said Monday.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is closed in both directions due to ice on the roadway, as of 8:20 a.m. Friday. DOTD also is advising caution on elevated portions of roadways in the metro area.
Motorists needing to cross Lake Pontchartrain on Friday evening might want to forget about the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. It doesn’t look like the 24-mile bridge is going to reopen any time soon, General Manager Carlton Dufrechou said Friday afternoon.