KENNER, La. — Traffic going to the new MSY airport terminal caused five accidents this morning on I-10, Kenner police say.
Drivers were allegedly trying to get off the Loyola Drive exit on I-10 West at the last minute, cutting in front of drivers who had been waiting in traffic to exit. Between 6:30 and 9 a.m., five of those attempts ended in crashes.
The backup led to a five to six-minute delay just to get off the highway.
"If need be, we have Kenner Officers on standby to begin directing traffic," a Kenner Police Official said. "As of this time we have not had to utilize the officers."
In addition, the backup on Loyola caused most motorists to wait at least two light cycles to get on the airport road.
"We knew some type of traffic congestion was coming," said Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn. "Hopefully this is just because this is the first day. Maybe it will get worked out in a short period of time, maybe it won't."
There is a $125 million project in the works to expand the Interstate 10/Loyola Drive Interchange and alleviate airport traffic, but it won’t be done until the end of 2022.
The project includes new flyover ramps from I-10 to Loyola and a reconfigured intersection at Veterans Boulevard.
In addition to the issues with traffic flow, there was also an issue with the booths where you pay for parking as you exit the lot.
As of Wednesday afternoon, it appeared that only one booth was open and vehicles were waiting in a long line.