It’s the 24-mile-long bridge that CNN Travel recently called “a pulse-quickening half-hour drive.” While some local Causeway commuters might beg to differ with that analysis, a handful of accidents last week prompted the bridge’s top official to urge drivers to be attentive while driving across the lake, especially during the hectic morning commute.
Causeway managers are exploring new ways of making the bridge safer, and with proposals running as high as $50 million, many wonder who might pay.
It happens, on average, once every five years. A vehicle goes off the southbound side of the Causeway, killing the driver.
The northbound side of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway will be closed for an hour Sunday to allow authorities to conclude an accident investigation. The closure will begin at about 8:30 a.m., bridge General Manager Carlton Dufrechou said in a statement.
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.