M-DOT conducts contraflow drill on I-59

HATTIESBURG,MS (WDAM)-  There were 100 to 200 MDOT workers Wednesday on full alert, conducting two shifts of hurricane preparedness. But along Interstate 59 in Hattiesburg traffic was not disturbed and lanes were remained opened because it was all part of MDOT'S contraflow drill.

District Engineer of the Sixth District, Kelly Castleberry, says one part of Wednesdays  contraflow drill was making sure employees knew where to go and what to do in the event of a hurricane.

"Today we are making sure the employees know where they need to be at . Make sure we have the proper materials and supplies . We are making sure everybody is prepared. If they see something that needs to be corrected, today is the day that we observe and make sure it gets fixed before we actually have a real event," said Castelberry.

District Six Pre-Construction Engineer, Keith Steel says the new termination point is a huge part of the drill.

"What we are doing here at exit 59 at the south bound lane this will be the termination point where all the south bound traffic will be diverted," said Steel.

Steel says this point is where the south bound lane will be cleared all the way to the state line.

"Louisiana will start bringing their traffic in the north bound lane up to the cross over point, so you will have all four lanes coming north in both directions," said Steel

Steel added that drills do work, but the experience of the last contraflow help them make crucial changes.

"At the termination point where all four lanes are coming back into two lanes, we have made some adjustments there so traffic can flow smoothly through that transition. It's the experience. We learned a lot. We hope we don't have to do it again, but we are prepared for it," said Steel.

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