ALDOT Advises Residents of Potential Hurricane Evac. Impacts

Montgomery, Al. -- The Alabama Department of Transportation has mailed a flyer to about 8,000 residences and businesses in Montgomery informing them of the potential for heavy traffic along U.S. Highway 31 North and connecting roads if the state finds it necessary to reverse the lanes on Interstate 65 for a hurricane evacuation.

The postcard informs residents and businesses that a lane reversal will result in heavy northbound traffic along U.S. 31 from Hope Hull to South Boulevard, Fairview Avenue and possibly as far north as Air Base Boulevard and Day Street. I-65 traffic driving north in the southbound lanes during an evacuation - referred to as contraflow traffic -will be directed off the reversed lanes in Hope Hull (Exit 164), and will go north on U.S. 31 until police direct that traffic back to I-65.

Traffic will be directed back into the normal northbound interstate lanes at South Boulevard or Fairview Avenue if those ramps are open and traffic volumes allow it, or will continue along Air Base Boulevard to the Day Street entrance ramp for I-65 North. ALDOT officials developed this plan to avoid sending contraflow traffic through the I-65 construction zone.

"We want residents and businesses along U.S. 31 and these other local roadways to be aware that hurricane evacuation traffic may be heavy on the day of a lane reversal," said Transportation Director Joe McInnes. "Residents may want to do their shopping or errands before a lane reversal to avoid the heavy evacuation traffic. We're trying to be proactive and inform everyone about the potential impacts."

In addition to explaining how the detour route will be used to move traffic around the I-65 construction zone and to merge contraflow traffic back into the normal northbound lanes, the flyer also provides important transportation-related phone numbers and web sites that may help local residents and evacuees during a lane reversal.