Contraflow drill set for Wednesday

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Motorists using Interstate 59 Wednesday morning and afternoon will notice Mississippi Department of Transportation personnel conducting a contraflow drill.

That drill, which will take place along the interstate to just south of Hattiesburg, will allow MDOT personnel to test contraflow procedures and equipment, said Deputy Director of Public Affairs Jason Smith. There will be no lane closures or reversing of traffic during the drill Wednesday.

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It will start at 8 a.m. and last until about 2 p.m.

Smith said that during the drill MDOT personnel will be testing equipment such as portable mechanical arms used to block roadways and ensure that all of the department’s employees are familiar with the protocols of initiating contraflow.

Contraflow is employed when a major tropical storm or hurricane is forecast to make landfall in this region. It allows residents in the southern parishes of Louisiana and southern counties of Mississippi to evacuate faster and easier by converting all four lanes of Interstate 59 into northbound traffic.

Motorists are advised to drive safely when they see MDOT personnel along the interstate conducting these tests.

Smith said that the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and local law enforcement agencies will participate in the drill.