New hurricane evacuation route opens Wednesday

Traffic backs up along westbound Interstate 10 as residents of the New Orleans area evacuate due to the threat of Hurricane Gustav, Aug. 30, 2008. (AP Photo/Brian Lawdermilk)

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Officials have high expectations for a long-awaited hurricane evacuation route that links the Florida Panhandle with Interstate 65 in Alabama through Flomaton.

Flomaton Mayor Dewey Bondurant Jr. predicts it will help turn Flomaton around. He describes the border town as "dying."

Census reports show that Flomaton's population has declined from
1,811 in 1990 to 1,537 last year as some residents have moved away
for jobs, education and other reasons.

Bondurant joins state and local officials at a ceremony Wednesday morning opening the Alabama 113 four-lane connection.

U.S. 29 is already four lanes from Pensacola, Fla., to Flomaton.

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