The atchafalaya bridge is a 18.2 mile (or 96,100 foot) twin span that connects Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Also known as the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge, it is the longest bridge in the state and third-longest in the United States.
A new law will double fines on motorists who speed on the Interstate 10 Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. The fines will begin at $175 for speeding and lane-use violations and increase to $350 if you are caught again.
Signs will start appearing this week on the approaches of both ends of the 18-mile highway safety corridor between Ramah in Iberville Parish and St. Martin Parish near Henderson, in the first of a three-phase program to implement a law that went into effect Monday.
This stretch of road is one of the most dangerous in the state and has been the site of hundreds of crashes over the years. This bridge is especially problematic because the lanes narrow at two river crossings and there are no shoulders.
Lower speeds and traffic regulations requiring trucks to use the right lane are intended to help reduce accidents on this busy highway. But it’s a difficult task to enforce, as some drivers simply don’t pay attention.
In addition, construction delays on the bridge can cause lane closures and can result in an increased risk of an accident.
A bill sponsored by Senate President Page Cortez of Lafayette seeks to double fines and use camera technology to catch speeders on the bridge. He says the spike in roadway fatalities has prompted his legislation.