Facing the Fury: Evacuation routes available despite highway construction

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Traffic is a daily occurrence on the highway that could increase when people evacuate during a hurricane.

According to Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Ray Pedraza, the two major evacuation routes are the I-2/U.S. 83 and the I-69C/US 281.

While major construction has been ongoing in those two highways, Pedraza said construction would halt and equipment would be stowed away during a hurricane evacuation.

“We would recommend to drivers, if you can avoid the construction zone during an evacuation or storm event, please do so,” Pedraza said. “But if you do have to drive through a construction zone, be on the lookout for any flying debris or materials that might fly onto the roadway".

The I-2 and I-69C aren't the only ways out during an evacuation, Pedraza added.

"There are other westbound roadways that you can take, “Pedraza explained. “There's Military Highway, Highway 495, US Business 83, State Highway 107, you don't have to take the designated evacuation routes.”

In a worst case scenario, contraflow — the process of shifting all lanes of traffic in one direction — would be enacted. 

“So essentially I-2 in Pharr would be converted to westbound lanes and I-69C, which is US 281, would be shifted to northbound lanes,” Pedraza added.

Other westbound roads can do the same in an emergency, Pedraza said.

Remember, you need to plan before an evacuation. Being hurricane ready isn't just about knowing your route, it's about getting yourself, your family, and your property ready as well.


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