Roundup: I-10 widening / Top 500 restaurant chains / Rural vaccinations

    Lane closures: The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development today announced that lane and shoulder closures will start this week as it moves into the next phase of the Interstate 10 widening project. The shoulder closures will be on I-10 and Interstate 12 westbound from the Essen Lane overpass to the College Drive ramp. Additionally, one lane will be closed on each side of the interstate between La. 4-15 and the I-10/12 split. WBRZ-TV has more about the road changes

    Sales drop: Management consulting firm Technomic today released its 2021 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, which looks at the sales performance of the nation’s largest restaurant chains over the past year. The top 500 chain restaurants saw sales fall by $27 billion in 2020, a decrease of more than 8% compared to 2019, according to the report. However, chicken restaurants saw gains over the past year. See the key findings here.  

    Lagging: Rural Louisianans lag the state’s urban residents in COVID-19 vaccinations by 31%, according to a Daily Advertiser analysis of data from Louisiana’s Department of Health. Rural parts of the state, like the Alexandria, Lake Charles and Acadiana regions, have lagged behind the state’s urban areas in vaccinations for months as eligibility for the shots has expanded, but recently released vaccination data for census tracts across Louisiana show the urban-rural disparity transcends regional boundaries. Read the full report.