TDOT Halts Highway Construction For Busy Holiday Travel Period

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Road construction will not slow travelers’ busy Christmas and New Year’s travel holidays.  The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is once again halting all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state.  
No temporary lane closures will be allowed for construction on Tennessee roadways beginning at 6 a.m. on Saturday, through 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013.  

“Two million drivers are expected to travel Tennessee roadways during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, and we want to do everything possible to minimize delays,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “We also want everyone to arrive at their destinations safely – so buckle up, reduce your speed, avoid distractions, and always designate a sober driver.”

Except for a few long-term closures which must remain in place for safety, all construction related closures will be suspended during the holiday period.  Workers may still be on site in some construction zones.  Drivers should obey all posted speed limits, particularly in construction areas.  Slower speeds are necessary in work zones due to the temporary layout of the roadway and will be enforced.  Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of $250 to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums. 

“If you and your family are traveling during this holiday period, please do your part to increase safety for everyone by obeying the rules of the road,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole.  “Drivers will see an increased law enforcement presence on Tennessee’s roadways with a particular focus on stopping impaired drivers.”

AAA predicts holiday travel will increase nearly two percent in Tennessee this year, with two million expected to travel by automobile in the volunteer state between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Across the U.S. 84.4 million people are expected to drive to their year-end holiday destinations. Americans will travel an estimated 760 miles round trip.

For up-to-date travel information, motorists may call 511 from any land line or cellular phone or visit TDOT is also on Twitter.  For statewide travel tweets follow Smartphone users can use the TDOT SmartWay Mobile website at to access TDOT’s SmartWay cameras, incident information and messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs. Motorists are reminded to use all motorist information tools responsibly.  Drivers should refrain from texting, tweeting or using a mobile phone while operating a vehicle.  Drivers should “Know before you go!” and check traffic conditions before leaving for their destination.

Mural Unveiling In East Chattanooga Is Oct. 16

Mark Making will unveil "Pollinators" in East Chattanooga on Friday, Oct. 16, at 5:30 p.m.  The new mural is at Hope for the Inner City, 1800 Roanoke Ave.  "Pollinators" was created by male teens from Hope for the Inner City.  The word "hope" is about believing in better tomorrows that can be pollinated by today's thoughts and actions, said Mark Making officials. ... (click for more)

This Week In The Arts

This week in the Arts:  Thursday, October 8 Art + Issues at the Hunter Museum "It's All About Plein Air" Exhibit at Ringgold Art and Frame Gallery, Ringgold, GA Ayelet Waldman Book Signing at the Chattanooga Public Library Digital Illustrations Showcase at Southern Adventist University Steel Magnolias at Blue Ridge Community Theater, Blue Ridge, ... (click for more)

Gannett Buys Memphis Commercial Appeal, Knoxville News-Sentinel, Other Newspapers

The Memphis Commercial Appeal and the Knoxville News-Sentinel are among 15 daily newspapers acquired Wednesday by Gannett, which already owns the Nashville Tennessean. That leaves the Chattanooga Times Free Press as the only large daily print newspaper in Tennessee not owned by Gannett, which is also the parent of USA Today. The $280 million purchase from Milwaukee-based ... (click for more)

Haslam Stops By Chattanooga Volkswagen; Says Tennessee "Married" To Troubled Automaker; SUV Line Still Set To Go Forward

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam spoke Wednesday after a mass team meeting with Volkswagen management and workers in an attempt to reassure Chattanoogans that local production is still on schedule and that his office still trusts that the Chattanooga plant is a solid long-term investment, despite the company's ongoing emissions scandal.   He said that legislation have ... (click for more)

Erlanger Settlement Understandable, But Disgusting

Re: Erlanger Reaches Settlement With Former CEO Understandable from a legal liability standpoint but disgusting non the less. Gus Bryan (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Unfortunate Sentence

There was a most unfortunate line in a recent email written to me and, in retrospect, I should not have included it in some examples of the huge response regarding the bicycle lanes now being installed on Broad Street. I’ll admit I misread the line because I feel certain I know what the writer was trying to convey. As a matter of fact, I received enough of an outcry I want to clarify ... (click for more)