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Using ESRI products to develop, analyze, and prepare GIS data for use in Quantm route optimization software, Buchart-Horn, Inc., is assisting the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and the Federal Highway Administration in determining the best alignment for a new route providing improved Hurricane Evacuation and system linkage in southeast Louisiana. The route optimization program utilizes environmental, cultural, and community GIS data, combined with egineering design and costing data, to provide many alignments that meet the design criteria while considering project constraints. Scheduled for completion in the spring of 2006, the project will result in a record decision by the FHWA of the best route that meets the project purpose and need. This new route will provide a much needed, more effective and quicker option for the residents of southeast Louisiana to evacuate prior to a hurricane, while providing a link to the interstate system during non-evacuation conditions.