BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - With Spring Break weekend less than three weeks away, many hope Biloxi's traffic plan will ease congestion on the roads.
Coast residents may remember the traffic headaches that happened during the very first Spring Break in 2000. Others need not look any further than last year's event, especially along Highway 90 in Biloxi.
During this year's event set for April 13-15, the city will roll out its new B-Alert text notification system.
"What we're rolling out now is a new advisory system that people can text to us," said Vincent Creel, Biloxi public affairs manager.
He explained, "What we're asking people to do right now is text SPBK, that's for Spring Break. Text that to triple 8, triple 7 (888-777). Once you do that, we'll be able to send you real-time traffic information about Spring Break."
Creel says the city plans to use the B-Alert system full-time in the future, but it'll be in place as a trial run. The alerts act as one part of the city's multi-faceted plan to make sure a Spring Break gridlock scenario doesn't happen again.
Another aspect of the plan is the traffic venting system that the city used back in 2001 to ease gridlock. To prepare for that, the city will use more than 6,600 new construction cones.
"What we're going to do is have one lane of traffic heading eastbound on Highway 90, and one lane of traffic headed westbound," Creel added. "The left lane of each way will be strictly for emergency vehicles. If you're on Highway 90, and you get caught in the venting, you could easily find yourself in Ocean Springs or in West Gulfport."
Creel says while these procedures aren't exactly popular, they could be necessary if Biloxi's roads are crammed with Spring Break traffic next month.
"This traffic plan is not going to be convenient for anyone," he added. "No one is going like this traffic plan."