GDOT preparing for contraflow on I-16 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

GDOT preparing for contraflow on I-16

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

The mandatory evacuation order issued by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal goes into effect this Saturday morning at 8 a.m.

With that order comes the implementation of the contraflow along Interstate 16. Along that contraflow route is changes from last year's evacuation during Hurricane Matthew.

There are a few more resources the state will be making available to drivers as they make their way along the evacuation route heading west to safety.

CHAMP roadside assistance trucks will be out helping anyone having issues with their vehicles. The Georgia Department of Transportation is pulling in several more of these from around the state to help out in the evacuation.

In the meantime, workers will be placing orange barrels and electronic signs along the interstate - from Chatham County all the way to Dublin - and drivers will have 7 exit opportunities along the way to gas up and get food as long as supplies last at those locations. 

"You will be able to get off when you're contraflowing - even though you're going west bound on the east bound side, you will still be able to access those exits," said Jill Nagel, Georgia Department of Transportation.

Those exits will be clearly marked along the way. Orange barrels are in place and GDOT has been working to put those along the cross-over lanes.

Last year with Matthew the contraflow started slow at first, but then as drivers got used to the traffic pattern the flow of traffic picked up. Since Matthew GDOT has repaired around 30 contraflow arms all up and down I-16 and they were working to add more this hurricane season.

So all those crossing arms are working properly and GDOT officials say drivers need to obey those gates, not try to go around them and also stay out of the way of first responders. 

"That's why we ask no one to ride on those shoulders. That is for first responders, it's for our CHAMP units to be able to get to people that need assistance," said Nagel.

Another important note from GDOT - all road projects will be suspended starting now until the storm passes.

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