New HERO Trucks Now Patrolling I-35, US 183 in Austin Area

Contact: Diann Hodges

Phone: (512) 832-7027

Date: Dec. 4, 2017

AUSTIN – Starting today, new trucks that can clear minor crashes from area roadways are patrolling I-35 and US 183 as part of the expansion of the Highway Emergency Response Operator, or HERO, patrol service program. The free roadside service will cover 138 miles along I-35, US 183, US 290, SH 71 and MoPac by Jan. 1, 2018.

The newly designed HERO trucks began patrolling I-35 in Hays County and US 183 in Del Valle in October. Phase 2, which starts today, places additional trucks on I-35 from Georgetown to Kyle, and on US 183, from Lakeline Mall Drive to US 290. On Jan. 1, 2018, the updated fleet will begin patrols on SH 71 and MoPac.

Established in 2010, the HERO program, in partnership with the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, began patrols along 34 miles of I-35, and has proven successful in providing assistance to stranded motorists and minimizing traffic delays throughout the Capital region. In 2015, the HERO program assisted more than 14,000 motorists.

The new HERO trucks are equipped with not only fuel and water for stranded motorists but also digital message signs and cameras that can send live images back to the Combined Transportation Emergency and Communications Center (CTECC), to help with incident management.

“Our vision for the HERO roadside assistance program is to improve safety and clear lanes quickly, so we can have a meaningful impact on travel time, while addressing congestion,” said Terry McCoy, Austin District Engineer. “We are excited to continue to improve upon the success of a program that has already changed so many lives for the better.”

The $3.6 million annual cost of the program is shared between TxDOT and CAMPO. Serco Inc. manages and operates the HERO program.

Motorists can call 512-974-HERO (4376) between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, if they need assistance.


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