Transportation planners aim to cut traffic time during hurricane evacuation

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by Philip Townsend, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 23 at 6:03 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Transportation planners in the region are identifying projects that will cut down the time spent in traffic in a disaster situation.

"Under current conditions, in the event of a hurricane it is possible that only a portion of the people living in homes in low lying areas of Hampton Roads will be able to evacuate," the Transportation Planning Organization wrote in their newly-released report.

For drivers using routes 460 and 58 to evacuate during a storm, Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization research estimates that an evacuation will take up to 48 hours.

Learn More: Prioritizing Highway Projects for Improvement of Evacuation

"One of the first things we did as a cabinet is looked at this issue," said State Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne. "We think there are some improvements that can be made."

A new project has drivers crossing over and using the opposite lanes of traffic in three different spots in Chesapeake and Suffolk.
 
It's referred to as the 168/64/58 Southside Reversal, and researchers believe it can cut 19 hours off of the 48-hour estimate.

It's also one of the least expensive options on the list, estimated to cost around $10 million.
 

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