The new year is bringing free rush-hour tow trucks to help keep traffic flowing on one of the nation's busiest bridges.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development says a tow truck will be stationed on the Crescent City Connection Bridge for three hours in the morning and three in the evening on weekdays.
The department says in a news release that the bridge is the nation's fifth busiest, with more than 156,000 vehicles crossing it daily and more than 33 million a year.
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway commuters should see the new year get off to a good start with an expanded north shore toll plaza.
At some point in January, bridge General Manager Carlton Dufrechou tells The Times-Picayune a fifth tollbooth and lane should be open for business at the Mandeville end of the bridge, helping the flow of traffic getting onto the 24-mile span.
Supporters of completing Interstate 49 from Lafayette to New Orleans are working to pull together a nonprofit coalition with a full-time executive director to help move the project forward.
State Sen. R.L. Allain II tells The Advocate two key factors in the renewed push to complete I-49 south will be soliciting more involvement from the industries that depend on the highway and hiring a full-time director to keep the effort focused and on track.
State officials say the White Castle ferry is expected to be out of service another 4-6 weeks.
The state Department of Transportation and development said repairs to the vessel's propeller shaft were expected to be completed by mid-September. But delays in dry docking, the discovery of the need for additional repairs and the landfall of Hurricane Isaac have pushed the estimated return of the ferry to mid-to-late October.
The ferry crosses the Mississippi River between White Castle and Geismar, upriver from New Orleans.