Alabama Makes Highway Plans for Hurricanes
August 8, 2000
With forecasters predicting a doozy of a hurricane season, Alabama officials have decided to make I-65 one way in the case of a hurricane evacuation from the Gulf coast.
According to the Birmingham News, state officials will open all four lanes to northbound vehicles on a 137-mile stretch of interstate, starting at a lane crossover just south of Alabama 225 in Baldwin County. Northbound traffic will be taken off the southbound lanes just south of Montgomery.
State officials estimate that in a hurricane, 450,000 to 500,000 vehicles could head north on I-65 in a 12- to 15-hour period. They estimate the process of reversing the lanes would take about 45 minutes.
Last year, residents of Southeastern states fleeing Hurricane Floyd found themselves stuck in traffic jams as they tried to evacuate. Officials were criticized for not allowing refugee traffic to take over all lanes of the interstates, or not doing it soon enough.