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After traffic headaches during Irma evacuation, Scott orders FDOT to review I-75

A report of FDOT’s recommendations to Scott is due in January.
A car rides in the shoulder to pass other cars in evacuation traffic on I-75 N, near Brooksville, Fla., in advance of Hurricane Irma, Saturday, Sept, 9, 2017. With the window closing fast for anyone wanting to escape, Irma hurtled toward Florida with 125 mph winds Saturday on a projected track that could take it away from Miami and instead give the Tampa area its first direct hit from a major hurricane in nearly a century. [Gerald Herbert / AP]
Published Oct. 12, 2017
Updated Oct. 12, 2017

When Hurricane Irma threatened the entire Florida peninsula last month, millions fled their homes to seek refuge elsewhere — with untold thousands opting for a long trek northward out of Florida and into Georgia via Interstate 75.

Drivers complained of lengthy delays, traffic jams and a lack of basic services — such as open bathrooms and gas stations stocked with fuel — along what is one of only a few primary north-south evacuation routes in the state.

A month after Irma blew threw, Gov. Rick Scott is now asking state transportation officials to explore ways to better expedite the outbound traffic next time.

RELATED: “Built for bottleneck: Is Florida growing too fast to evacuate before monster storms?”

He announced Thursday that he wants the Florida Department of Transportation to specifically look at ways the state could speed up the section of northbound I-75 from the interchange in Wildwood — where the Turnpike merges with the interstate — to the Florida-Georgia line.

The 144-mile stretch takes about 2 hours to drive under normal circumstances, but during the Irma evacuation, motorists reported being stuck for hours in gridlock.

More details here.

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