Thanksgiving travelers will enjoy a smooth drive through Tennessee again this year during this busy travel holiday. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (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, November 21 until 6:00 a.m. Monday, November 26.
"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.
"Drivers can expect to see increased law enforcement on the roads this Thanksgiving holiday," said Governor's Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. "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 motorist's safety.
AAA predicts 43.6 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% of all travelers will drive to their destination. In the southeast region, travelers are expected to journey 525 miles round-trip. According to AAA, the majority of travelers (45%) plan to leave on Wednesday and return on Sunday.
For up-to-date travel information, motorists can call 5-1-1 from any land line or cell phone or visit www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway. Smart phone users can use the TDOT SmartWay Mobile website at http://m.tdot.tn.gov/SmartWay/ to access TDOT's SmartWay cameras, incident information and messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs. Travelers can also get instant traffic alerts by following TDOT on Twitter. For a list of available Twitter feeds visit www.tn.gov/tdot/mediaroom/info.htm.
Motorists are reminded that texting while driving is against the law in Tennessee, so please use these motorist information tools responsibly.