Road Construction Won’t Delay Memorial Day Travelers

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Road construction won’t slow motorists down as they travel Tennessee’s highways this Memorial Day weekend.  The Tennessee Department of Transportation will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at noon on Friday through 6 a.m. on Tuesday.  This will provide maximum roadway capacity for motorists expected to travel in the state this Memorial Day weekend.

“More than half a million people are expected to hit the roads in Tennessee this Memorial Day weekend,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said.

“Suspending construction-related lane closures during this busy time will lessen congestion and delays on our major highways.”

Motorists may still encounter some lane closures or restrictions while traveling through long term construction projects.  Drivers should be aware that reduced speed limits will be in effect in work zones. Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of up to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums. 

“Memorial Day marks the unofficial kick-off to the summer season, and unfortunately, it can be a tragic time on the roadways,” added Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. “Law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be out in force looking for speeding, distracted, and impaired drivers.”   

AAA estimates 36.1 million people will travel more than 50 miles this Memorial Day holiday, reflecting a slight nationwide increase from 2013.  Of this number, AAA predicts more than eight out of ten travelers will travel by car. In Tennessee, AAA projects 687,434 will travel by automobile and 54,248 by air.

Updated travel and construction information can be found on the TDOT SmartWay website at or you may call 5-1-1.  You can also 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 incidents on interstates and state routes.

As always, 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.

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