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Hurricane evacuation route closed

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Updated: 5/31/2013 11:44 pm

YULEE, Fla.-- Action News has learned an evacuation route in Nassau County will be closed all of this hurricane season.

This season even more hurricanes are predicted. But Action News has learned Nassau County could take you longer in an evacuation.

"The option any other year would be to go north on 17," said Emergency Management Director Danny Hinson.

We uncovered that's not an option this year. Hinson says the bridge over the St. Marys River is closed until next year. That means this evacuation route is closed the entire hurricane season.

But Hinson doesn't see it as a major problem. "For an evacuation, people are looking at major highways. I'm not as concerned about the lack of using the bridge," said Hinson.

We mapped out the possible routes people could take. The only way out of the eastern part of the county is State Road 200. Normally you could then hit either 95 or 17, but with the bridge closed, the only way north is 95.

Hinson agrees it's not ideal, but all they can do is adapt. "It's added time. That's where we have to push the button and say evacuate," said Hinson.

The DOT says the project either had to be done this year or next. It's a $3.4 million project.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Timm Obi - 6/1/2013 11:14 AM
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Y'll worked really hard to uncover this since it has been reported on by other local news services since April. Nothing gets past y'all for long. Great job on breaking a 2 month old story. Considering that US 17 crosses I-95 before it crosses over the state line west of as I-95 you should use SR 200 or some other route to head west. US 17 is a 2 lane winding highway that crosses on an 86 year old swing bridge in to a flood prone rural area that is going to get you further away from the coast. No one should be using this route for evacuation unless they live right by the bridge and those people should already know the bridge is closed. This route is not going to get out of danger any sooner than taking I-95 or going west to US 23,1,301 which is a major highway that branches out or connects to many other major highways. US 17 just takes you back to the coast in GA after crossing I-95 again south of Brunswick. You are still going to have to use I-95 or another highway to get far enough north or west to be out of danger. You might as well use I-95 to begin with. So when is your hard hitting investigative report on how the mayor's office is wasting taxpayer money using 2 ply toilet paper instead of 1 ply coming out? Is next weeks breaking news going to be "Automobile Use Cuts Deep Into Passenger Rail Use" or "Nixon Resigns Over Watergate"?
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