Downtown New Orleans road closures for Super Bowl on Feb. 3 have already begun and as part of phase one the streets around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the New Orleans Arena are now closed — except for when there is a game — until after the Super Bowl game. The Superdome exit near Claiborne will also be closed.

According to WWL TV News, the road closures are part of a security plan involving Emergency Medical Service, New Orleans Fire Department, New Orleans Police Department and Homeland Security that is necessary because the Superdome is located downtown close to the city’s central business district.

The plan is complicated by the fact this year’s Super Bowl occurs in the middle of Carnival season.

“In some ways it’s much harder to secure the area, because it’s an everyday working area around here also. But, one of the great benefits, we think, for our Super Bowl here is visitors can walk from almost any hotel... we think we’re not going to have the traffic problems others had, such as Dallas did and New Jersey and so forth. Theirs is a little easier to secure than the next one coming up, because they are far out,” said New Orleans Homeland Security Director Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed.

More closures will begin on Jan. 26, including the closure of the Poydras ramp off of Interstate-10.

For a map of the Super Bowl road closures go to http://new.nola.gov/superbowl/.