Frequently asked questions about spring break traffic plan

Why is there a traffic plan?

The traffic plan was developed by local authorities to keep traffic flowing safely and to make sure roadways were accessible to emergency responders. Biloxi also employs traffic plans for such events as Mardi Gras, Cruisin’ the Coast, and other events.

Nearly all of the plans involve U.S. 90, or Beach Boulevard, the major east-west artery serving Biloxi.

The plan has several phases or stages that can be implemented as needed. Those stages include restricting the use of left turn lanes, closing intersections, and limiting access to U.S. 90 from connecting streets. In the past, U.S. 90 one eastbound and one westbound lane of U.S. 90 has been reserved exclusively for public safety vehicles, but police do not expect to limit traffic to that degree because four-wheelers can be used to navigate traffic.

In some instances, traffic congestion may prompt local authorities to “vent” traffic, funneling it to Interstate 10.

Local authorities will make a decision when and if the overall traffic plan will be implemented based on the volume and flow of traffic. The public will be notified through the city’s Bmail program (sign up at and through the media, particularly if traffic is “vented” during the weekend. The city’s Info Line — (228) 435-6300 — also will be updated as needed throughout the weekend.

When will the plan be implemented?

Initial phases of the plan may not even be noticed when they are implemented. They involve pre-positioning barricades near intersections along U.S. 90, monitoring the volume and flow of traffic into Biloxi, and continuing to monitor the volume and flow on U.S. 90 and on nearby thoroughfares.

The volume and flow of traffic will dictate further implementation of the plan.

I have heard that if I show my local driver’s license then I can get to my home or place of employment during the traffic plan. Is this true?

It depends. Police officers are going to try to work with drivers to get them where they are trying to go.

However, if enhanced phases of the traffic plan are employed, such as limited lane usage or “venting” is underway, motorists on U.S. 90 may find themselves being funneled toward I-10. Venting will be employed only as needed to relieve congestion, and if officers tried to accommodate every motorist during the venting process, traffic would be brought to a standstill, defeating the purpose of the plan.

Every effort will be made to notify local media in advance about venting, and the process will be used only when needed.

I live in Biloxi and want to avoid getting caught up in the traffic. What advice do you have for me?

Here’s the best advice: Avoid U.S. 90.

Use alternate routes, such as Pass Road, Irish Hill, Division Street or Popp’s Ferry Road.

Expect heavy and slow-moving traffic, even on the alternate routes.

Leave early and carpool when possible. Be patient.

Exits off Interstate 10 into Biloxi will be open, but are subject to being closed depending on the volume of traffic and whether traffic venting is underway.

Officers will do their best to work with local residents to get them where they need to go. Motorists must follow the directions of police officers.

I have heard a lot about the spring break traffic plan. I work at a business on Highway 90 in west Biloxi. Will I be able to get to work?

Officers will do the best they can to help traffic get to where it needs to go. In some instances, intersections on U.S. 90 will be blocked, especially in the area between Rodenburg Avenue in Biloxi and Cowan Road in Gulfport.

Please explain traffic “venting” to me.

The “venting” process may be needed to relieve congestion on U.S. 90. If authorities determine that “venting” is required, the city will use its Facebook page to communicate with motorists, and local media also will be notified to broadcast alerts to their audiences. Most time, venting will merely mean motorists must continue moving either west or east — no turns allowed. During extreme venting, westbound traffic on U.S. 90 at Rodenberg is turned eastward and sent to I-10, and eastbound traffic on U.S. 90 in Gulfport is turned onto Cowan to I-10. From I-10, traffic is funneled either eastward or westward before being allowed to return to Biloxi.

Officials will decide whether to vent based on the volume and flow of traffic on U.S. 90.

Stay tuned to your local radio and TV stations for any notices regarding venting.