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Contact: Diann Hodges, Texas Department of Transportation
Phone: (512) 832-7027
AUSTIN – Help is on the way for motorists who find themselves stranded or involved in a crash on weekends. Thanks to the recent approval of $2.1 million by the Texas Transportation Commission, the Highway Emergency Response Operator, or HERO, patrol service program will expand to seven days a week. The free roadside service will soon patrol I-35 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays.
In addition to the expanded hours, the HERO program is increasing its fleet from 24 to 26 trucks. A dedicated debris trailer is also being added to help remove debris hazards from the roadway and shoulders, to prevent further incidents from occurring. A second trailer will be available to handle lane closures that last beyond two hours.
The HERO program, in partnership with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, patrols 138 miles of I-35, US 183, US 290, SH 71 and MoPac, and has proved successful in providing assistance to stranded motorists and clearing minor crashes throughout the Capital region. More than 22,000 total services have been provided by HERO since October 2017.
HERO trucks are equipped with fuel, water, oil, and air to help stranded motorists, along with tools to complete tire changes and jump-starts. In addition, the trucks have digital message signs to help with incident management.
“Since October of last year, HERO has helped more than 15,000 motorists, including the changing of more than 1,300 tires,” said Terry McCoy, Austin District Engineer. “The HERO program has had a huge impact on drivers and we’re excited to see it expand.”
The $4.3 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, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, if they need assistance.
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. Through collaboration and leadership, we deliver a safe, reliable, and integrated transportation system that enables the movement of people and goods. Find out more at TxDOT.gov. "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.