As we are in the heart of fog season, the Causeway becomes almost a daily travel concern along with the Spillway and the “long bridge” to Slidell. The latter 2 do not have restrictions placed on them while the Causeway does. I left to visit friends up in Covington reaching the Causeway heading north at 11:30 AM. Skies were sunny over land in Metairie, but a layer of shallow dense fog covered the Lake. Smartly, the Causeway was restricted to one lane with a 45 mph speed limit. I felt safe going over and the restrictions were well warranted. However, on my return trip to the South Shore at 3 PM, the cones were still out with the single lane restriction still in place. Why? Visibilities were so good that I could see the tall downtown buildings one mile out over the Lake. Here’s the problem. When there is no obvious need for restrictions, drivers become impatient. Speeds fluctuated from 45 to 60 to 25 mph as a long line of cars backed up behind a slow driver. I was totally on edge for no reason. Thank goodness I don’t have to drive the bridge but once or twice a month. All I could think of was…”are the Causeway workers too lazy to go take the cones down, or, are the workers waiting for management to make the decision to take down the cones or, is no one accountable for the operation of the bridge on an hourly basis?” Safety was not an issue. The fog was long gone. To inconvenience PAYING customers for no reason is not acceptable. And they are going to raise the tolls. Go figure.
Well, fog is already back tonight so the cones will be back out for Sunday morning. Fog is likely to be a daily issue until we can get colder, drier air to return. That is not likely for at least another 7-10 days. As I have mentioned before, when we are very warm, expect the atmosphere to reverse itself & go very cold to balance itself out. I will not be surprised to see us get very chilly for the last week of January into & thru much of February, including the lead up to Mardi Gras. That is not a forecast, just a gut feeling based on past experience. Stay tuned!