Major J-turn project slated for Johnston Street

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UPDATE: The DOTD said the project is scheduled to go out for bid in June. They hope to begin construction in September 2019.

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The DOTD estimates over 34,000 vehicles a day use Johnston Street, U.S. Highway 167, between Ambassador Caffery Parkway and Maurice. 

So it’s no surprise that making a left turn can be tough. 

Larry Powell of Abbeville drives to Lafayette every day. 

“Between 4 and 6 o’clock you’ll be there for at least 30 minutes just trying to get to the light to make a turn, so it’s real bad,” Powell said. 

Highway 167 has many crossovers which can be dangerous and confusing. 

Cory Melancon of Lafayette said he won’t use the crossover at Johnston Street and Reserve Drive near the Acadiana Mall. 

“No one knows how to turn in it. It’s really bad and there’s been several wrecks there in the last little while,” Melancon said. 

The DOTD will be making some big changes. 

The agency plans to build 40 turns: 33 J-turns, three left turns, and four right turns. 

Seven of the J-turns will have traffic signals. 

DOTD District Administrator Bill Oliver said they will also remove 25 crossovers. 

“It will change the access along there and it’s to provide safety. Increase capacity and to improve safety,” Oliver said. 

Drivers should prepare themselves for another long road project here in Acadiana. This one is supposed to go out for bid in June. Construction is expected to start in September 2019 and it should last between two and three years. 

The Highway 167 J-turn project will be similar to the J-turn project completed on Highway 90 in St. Mary Parish last year. 

Oliver said accidents have gone down 24 percent at intersections where J-turns were installed. 

The work zone will be 5.3 miles. 

The project is expected to cost between $12 and $13 million.

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