Thanksgiving travelers will not be slowed by construction on Tennessee roads during this busy travel holiday. TDOT 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 noon on Wednesday, through 6 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 1.
“With nearly a million people expected to travel by car this Thanksgiving, our highways will be busy, especially on the peak travel days of Wednesday and Sunday,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “Halting road work during this busy time will provide maximum capacity and help minimize congestion.”
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 46.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving holiday, the highest number since 2007. An estimated 973,710 people are expected to travel by automobile in Tennessee. Nationwide, 89% of all travelers will drive to their destination. In the southeast region, travelers are estimated to journey 549 miles round-trip. Road trippers will pay the lowest price for fuel in five years, with prices more than 40 cents lower per gallon compared to last Thanksgiving.
Updated travel and construction information can be found on the TDOT SmartWay website atwww.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway 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.
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.