County Commissioners welcomed the Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) Program to Hays County last week.
The program, a partnership between the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation, is designed to reduce travel delays and keep traffic moving safely along Interstate 35 and U.S. 183.
The HERO Program, whose extension into Hays County – from the Travis County line to Yarrington Road – was funded by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), provides free assistance to stranded motorists, according to Mobility Authority Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein.
“The HERO Program will benefit all Hays County residents who travel IH-35,” said Pct. 2 County Commissioner Mark Jones, adding that emergency service assistance along the interstate should be quick and traffic delays reduced since a “HERO truck will already be stationed on the roadway during peak drive times.”
The emergency service will operate along IH-35 in Kyle and Buda north to State Highway 130 in Georgetown.
HERO services include: traffic control and assistance at incidents, clearing damaged and disabled vehicles from roadway lanes and shoulders, picking up roadway debris, providing motorist assistance, changing flat tires, pumping up low tires, adding gasoline, adding water to radiators, providing battery jump-starts, performing minor vehicle repairs, relocating vehicles out of a travel lane, calling towing or emergency service, transporting stranded motorists to a safe location, providing cell phone service and providing drinking water to stranded motorists.
Pct. 3 Commissioner Will Conley, who chairs the CAMPO board, noted that the service will free up law enforcement officers who patrol the area and often stop to help stranded motorists, taking them away from law enforcement duties.
Drivers can call 512-974- HERO (4376) for help with their vehicle or to report a stranded motorist.