Texas enhances city evacuation plans

Published 23 February 2006

Texas Highway officials say several measures to relieve traffic bottlenecks during an evacuation, as recommended earlier this week by the governor’s task force, were already in progress or on the drawing board. Details of how other recommendations will be met, such as developing contra-flow plans for Interstate 45, Interstate 10, U.S. 59, and U.S. 290, and ensuring that fuel is available on those routes, remain to be worked out. Janelle Gbur, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Houston district, said construction is under way to remove the bottleneck on I-45 North (the North Freeway) where it narrows from four lanes in each direction to two at FM 1488 near The Woodlands. During the Hurricane Rita evacuation in September, this chokepoint brought traffic to a standstill for miles.

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