Thanksgiving travelers will enjoy a smooth drive through Tennessee again this year during this busy travel holiday. The Tennessee Department of Transportation will halt all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state. All construction related lane closures will be stopped beginning at 6 a.m. on Wednesday until 6 a.m. Monday, Dec. 2.
“Nearly a million travelers in Tennessee are expected to drive to their holiday destination this year,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “Halting road work during this busy time will provide maximum capacity on our roadways and help alleviate congestion, especially during the predicted peak travel days of Wednesday and Sunday.”
While all lane closure activity will be stopped, workers may be on site in some construction zones. Motorists are reminded to drive safely and obey the posted speeds, especially in work zones. Drivers convicted of speeding in work zones where workers are present face a fine of up to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.
“The Governor’s Highway Safety Office and TDOT are partnering with law enforcement across the state for the I-40 Challenge, with the goal of having zero fatalities on the 455 miles of I-40 in Tennessee,” said GHSO Director Kendell Poole. “The Tennessee Highway Patrol will have troopers stationed every 20 miles on I-40, along with increased law enforcement on all highways. We want everyone to have a safe holiday so remember to buckle up, drive the speed limit and don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you’ve had anything to drink.”
Some long-term lane closures will remain in place on some construction projects for motorists’ safety.
AAA predicts 43.4 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving holiday. An estimated 953,041 people are expected to travel by automobile in Tennessee. Nationwide, 90 percent of all travelers will drive to their destination. In the southeast region, travelers are estimated to journey 525 miles round-trip. According to AAA, Wednesday will be the busiest travel day with 37 percent of travelers leaving for their destination.
Updated travel and construction information can be found on the TDOT SmartWay website at www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway or call 5-1-1. Receive traffic alerts via TDOT’s multiple Twitter feeds, including statewide traffic tweets @TN511 or any of TDOT’s other Twitter pages. Smartphone users can download the TDOT SmartWay mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for Android to access TDOT’s SmartWay cameras, messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs, and information on construction related lane closures and incidents on interstates and state routes.
Drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for their destination. Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.