Does the speed limit on the Atchafalaya Bridge need to be reduced to increase safety? That’s what state officials are debating, but no decision has been reached yet. The Advocate talked about this matter.
The debate was sparked about the issue back in August when an accident on the bridge killed one person, injured five others, and shoved traffic into U.S. 190. It is believed that there was a small crash that caused traffic to slow down and that led to a chain-reaction crash involving three truckers and several passenger vehicles.
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State officials were compelled to respond due to the severity of the incident. Much of the blame has been placed on tractor-trailers speeding down the bridge and causing problems. The bridge has no shoulders and is so narrow that there’s little that can be done to stay out of an accident if something goes wrong.
When the bridge first opened, the speed limit was 70 MPH for everyone. Since then, it has been reduced to 60 MPH for standard vehicles and 55 MPH for truckers. Trucks are also required to stay in the right lane. Despite these changes, the accident rate for the bridge has risen by 30 percent since 2014. Traffic on the bridge is also higher than years past, which may account for some of the increase.