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FDOT working to make sure construction projects do not slow evacuations for Hurricane Irma

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Posted at 10:51 PM, Sep 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 22:52:28-04

South Florida residents continue to travel out of the state to stay out of the possible path of Hurricane Irma before it's too late to evacuate.

Most drivers, traveling on I-95 and the Florida Turnpike, know to expect some slow traffic.

The Florida Department of Transportation has made some changes to some road conditions this week to ease those last minute travels as much as possible.

All lane closures in active construction zones in Broward and Palm Beach Counties and the Treasure Coast were suspended Wednesday morning, excluding lane closures required to safe-up projects or facilitate movement of traffic for storm evacuation.

Barrier walls were removed to open traffic to its pre-construction capacity at several Treasure Coast locations along evacuation routes.

 Northbound I-95 was opened from 2 to 3 lanes at the Glades Cut Off Road overpass (approximate mile marker 125) and Ten Mile Creek overpass (just south of Okeechobee Road / Exit 129) in St. Lucie County Thursday.

Westbound 17th Street from 6th Avenue to just east of Indian River Boulevard was opened from 1 to 2 lanes in Indian River County Thursday.

There will be no additional lane closures on the Treasure Coast.

It is some good news to travelers just hitting the road Thursday night.

Terry Cunningham lives in North Fort Lauderdale, and made his first stop for gas in Fort Pierce. "We're headed to Atlanta," Cunningham said.

He's hoping his late start might help him miss the heavier evacuation traffic. "We're really just taking a chance, hoping that the traffic isn't too bad."

Santiago Roldán, his children and his wife left Pompano Beach Thursday. They left without knowing exactly where they were heading, but they're making the most of the situation.

“We want to enjoy it actually, make lemonade out of lemons,” Roldan said.

The evacuation has turned into a spontaneous family trip. Christina Roldan says her brother found their first stop.

“James looked up the best places to visit in Georgia and there was this town of Helen.”

Still, they're nervously leaving, but grateful to be securing their safety.

State Troopers are still helping direct traffic at the Turnpike rest stops, and making sure drivers are only taking time to fill up their cars and not gas cans.