Construction Vs. Evacuation?

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Back in June of this year, an asphalt crew working on Highway 231 accidentally lifted a truck under power lines, shutting down a section of the highway.

Commuters on 231 have seen their fair share of slowdowns this summer. And, with Hurricane Dean set to make arrival in the Gulf on Monday, will construction conflict with people leaving the coast?

“We stay in real close contact with Emergency Management,” said Dept. of Transportation Engineer Carroll Dunn. “They give us storm tracking information. Therefore, we take that and any of these projects we do have those roads cleared to facilitate a smooth flow of traffic through the area."

The Department of Transportation cannot only assure an average travel time by moving construction, but they can also make evacuation easier, by turning red lights on 231 northbound green.

There have been occasions when Highway 65 has been made all-northbound lanes to make for a fast exit, but on 231 there are too many ways to access the roadway. So, the biggest key in the event something does happen to the road is communication.

"Of course if there would be a detour from the evacuation route we would provide the information through our website,” said Dunn. “To provide information that would help the general public; [to] have a smooth flow of traffic during these times."