The 2014 Hurricane Season has begun early with Hurricane Arthur.
Georgia Department of Transportation's hurricane plan is in place; work forces trained and ready to mobilize for major tropical storms or hurricanes along Georgia's coastline.
Several emergency plans will be implemented to increase mobility of traffic heading inland in the event of a mandatory evacuation.
Georgia DOT is working with Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), Georgia State Patrol (GSP), utility companies, local governments and local emergency management in a collaborative effort to respond to threats during the 2014 Hurricane Season.
The planning process has been ongoing statewide prior to the Hurricane Season's official beginning date of June 1.
Georgia DOT has invested more than $5.7 million in traffic control systems, radios, cameras and reversible interstate lanes since Hurricane Floyd threatened Georgia's coast in 1999.
"We continuously strive to improve our hurricane preparedness efforts. We have learned from past events, implementing new strategies such as installing push-button traffic control devices at critical intersections along evacuation routes for local law enforcement to regulate the flow of traffic from the side of the road," stated Georgia DOT State Maintenance Engineer Dale Brantley. "We also have portable traffic control devices, allowing us to quickly get to intersections where there is congestion."
Along the 33 designated Hurricane Evacuation Routes in Georgia, signage on all evacuation highways direct motorists inland for safety. Georgia DOT signs also alert the public to selected FM radio stations for weather and traffic updates. If mandatory evacuation is issued, contra-flow of I-16 will occur, in which all lanes on the 125-mile stretch on I-16 from Savannah to west of Dublin would become west-bound only.
Message boards will be setup on interstates to alert motorists about exit ramp closures/openings as well as locations for gas, food, etc.
Georgia DOT HEROs will patrol the interstates to assist motorists and respond quickly to accidents and disabled vehicles.