CONVENT, La (BRPROUD) –  St. James Parish will have a one-way traffic system in place during the lighting of the bonfires on Christmas Eve.

One-way traffic flow will start at 6 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. with the lighting of the bonfires taking place at 7 p.m. The one-way traffic route begins at La Hwy 3213 near the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge and continues north along La Hwy 44 also known as River Road.

Traffic will travel north along Hwy 44 in the northbound lane of travel with traffic ending at La Hwy 642. The southbound lane of Hwy 44 between the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge and Hwy 642 will be reserved for emergency and law enforcement vehicles only.

“We feel this effort will allow for increased safety during this heavily attended event for pedestrians and vehicles alike,” Sheriff Willy Martin said. “I encourage those planning to attend, to arrive early, refrain from parking along major surface streets and use extreme caution when walking along HWY 44.”

Motorists will be allowed to enter and exit along any of the roadways off Hwy 44 at any point along the route, but vehicles entering Hwy 44 will be directed to take a right only.

St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office will be out guiding cars to park along surface streets that serve as major connecting roadways between Hwy 44 and Hwy 3125 to prevent a stop in the flow of traffic.

“We are extremely excited to welcome back this time-honored tradition to our community this Christmas,” Parish President Pete Dufresne said. “I am grateful to Sheriff Martin for the additional efforts being made to ensure this year’s event is safe, successful and fun for all.”

A map detailing the contraflow route is available to residents and visitors on the St. James Parish Government website.