Traffic changes planned for Southeastern commencements December 14


Monday, December 9, 2019 
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

     HAMMOND -- Motorists and visitors planning to attend Southeastern Louisiana University’s commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec 14, should anticipate heavy traffic and route changes affecting University Avenue (Hwy. 3234) between Interstate 55 and North Cherry Street.
     Retired State Farm Executive Wallace Lewis, Sr. will address Southeastern graduating students at the 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. ceremonies, where more than 1,000 students will receive associate, bachelor, master and doctoral degrees in the University Center.
     University Police Captain Carmen Bray said the section of University Avenue between Lion Lane and SGA Drive will be restricted from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. that day. Local traffic will be allowed to proceed on University Avenue for as long as possible but will be diverted through the campus as congestion increases.
     Prior to commencement, the University Center parking areas are expected to fill early, and all traffic on University Avenue will be diverted to main campus via North General Pershing Street and SGA Drive. Eastbound commencement traffic will be diverted to Lion Lane for parking at the University Center, and westbound commencement traffic will be diverted to the campus at SGA Drive.
     “Traffic will begin to get heavy early in the morning and again in the afternoon,” said Bray. “We anticipate the parking areas around the University Center to be filled an hour before each ceremony.”
     Additional parking spaces around the University Center will be set aside for vehicles with appropriate handicapped placards. Individuals requiring handicap accommodations should try to arrive as early as possible, as handicapped parking is available on a first come, first served basis.
     Vacant parking spaces in the Southeastern Oaks/Greek Village complex will also be used for this event. Residents are requested to use the back gate near the laundry facility and maintenance warehouse for entering and exiting between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
     Southeastern Lion Traxx shuttle buses will be in operation before and after the ceremony to accommodate those parking in outlying areas or needing special transportation assistance, Bray said. Shuttle stops will be marked with signs and/or canopies.
     Drivers not attending commencement are asked to use U.S. 190 (Thomas Street and Morris Street) or Natalbany Road (Hwy. 1064) to avoid University Avenue traffic.
     Southeastern students wishing to return rental textbooks that day should do so on an alternate date.

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