DOTD advise motorists of roadwork on I-55 southbound between Ponchatoula and Laplace over next two weeks

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If you’re planning on traveling Interstate 55 southbound lanes, you may see contractors mobilizing equipment between Ponchatoula and LaPlace over the next two weeks. DOTD Spokesperson Rodney Mallet says crews will begin repair work on the southbound lanes where the accident occurred starting this weekend.

“They’re going to have to chip away the concrete – the pavement in that area. And do some testing on what remains. And then they will repave that area they just chipped.”

Interstate 55 southbound lanes reopened Thursday following the massive 168-vehicle pileup that killed at least eight people and injured 63. The southbound lanes will merge to one lane for nearly 500 yards near mile marker 14 near the site of Monday’s accident.

Mallet says the northbound portion of Interstate 55 is completely closed.

“The group that came in to do some of the inspections – they’re going to put together a report on what repairs need to be completed so we can open up that road in a safe manner. So northbound will not be open anytime soon.”

DOTD and inspectors are analyzing data on the extent of the damage to the northbound lanes of the bridge. Mallet says questions remain as to what can be done during foggy conditions that create extreme hazards on the highway.

“If we close those bridges down because if it’s foggy, we’ll be closing down the interstate on a regular basis. So that’s going to be disruptive to productivity, to commerce, but not only that those cars are still going to travel.”

There is no timeline for reopening the northbound lanes at this time.

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