It's that time of year. You know it's Mardi Gras in Lafayette when the roads are lined with portable steel bridge foot barricades — 5,500 of them to be exact. Today, Lafayette Consolidated Government's public works department begins barricading the downtown parade route in advance of Saturday night's Krewe of Rio parade. Tomorrow the barricades go up along Johnston Street and North College and will remain along the shoulder of the roads for two weeks until pick up begins Thursday, Feb. 18. In addition, the department places 129 portable toilets along the 3.9 mile route.

"We recognize that business and property owners along the parade route are put at an inconvenience during the Mardi Gras Festivities," City-Parish President Joey Durel states in a press release. "We appreciate their patience and understanding as well as the patience and understanding of those traveling along the parade route during set-up and pick-up of the barricades. The result is a wonderful family-friendly Mardi Gras for the people of Lafayette Parish that adds to the quality of life for our residents to enjoy and brings in tourists from all around the world who want to experience the safe Mardi Gras experience that we offer."

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