States transportation agency prepared for hurricane season

With hurricane season officially underway, the state’s transportation agency is gearing up in the event of an evacuation. Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) says lessons from Hurricane Rita have helped them better prepare for any evacuations.

“No plan is perfect,” said Bryan Wood, Beaumont District Engineer. “However, by planning and preparation, we hopefully can make evacuating from the next storm at least a bit more bearable.”

Since Hurricane Rita, TxDOT has implemented a few changes to local evacuation routes including:

EvacuLanes:  EvacuLanes involve converting the northbound shoulders of sections of US 69, SH 87, and SH 146 to an extra travel lane.

SH 105 evacuation route changes.

Comfort stations at specific locations along certain routes.

Better traffic monitoring through highway cameras.

TxDOT is reminding motorists that plans could change during an evacuation and that motorists should be prepared for the worst. The department is also advising motorists to keep their fuel tank full and take as few vehicles as possible to help alleviate traffic during an evacuation.

“The important thing to remember in all of these past evacuations is that despite the very long waits, everyone was off the highway long before the storm hit Southeast Texas,” said Wood.

Officials estimate more than 3 million people evacuated the Texas coast during Rita causing one of the worst traffic jams in history. Enter your body text here.