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 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 22, 2012 through 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 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 2% in Tennessee this year, with 2 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 www.TN511.com. TDOT is also on Twitter. For statewide travel tweets follow www.twitter.com/TN511. Smartphone 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. 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.