One take-away: more constriction on I-45!
A second: It's tough to tell people when they can and can't evacuate from a hurricane.
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The U.S. Census Bureau says Galveston County’s population grew by close to 11-percent between 2010 and 2015.
And while the county is happy to add to its tax base, local officials say there’s still worried: How do you evacuate all those people before a major hurricane?
That was one of the big topics at the first-ever Galveston County Transportation Summit.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Joe Giusti says it’s extremely important for Galveston to evacuate first. Because history shows that it will be very difficult for residents to leave the coast.
“Then I have a situation like we did during Hurricane Rita when Galveston County’s at the back of a stack when Harris County and everybody else is leaving early,” Giusti says. “And we have people dying in traffic, that’s my biggest fear.”
But officials say some new road projects should help more people evacuate faster.
In 2019, TxDOT hopes to start the process of widening I-45 from FM 1764 to the Galveston Causeway. It will go from six lanes to eight.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Clark believes it will help
“If we can get people to leave in a staged fashion, it should really make an evacuation not only efficient but very smooth also,” Clark says.
State Highway 146 is also being widened in Seabrook and that includes a new bridge near the Kemah Boardwalk.