UPPER CUMBERLAND – Thanksgiving travelers will not be delayed by construction on Tennessee roads during the 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. All construction-related lane closures will be stopped beginning at noon Wednesday, Nov. 25 through 6 a.m. Monday, Nov. 30.
AAA predicts 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving holiday, an increase of 0.6 percent over last year and the most in eight years. An estimated 1,025,217 people are expected to travel by automobile in Tennessee. Nationwide, 89.3% of all travelers will drive to their destination. Motorists will pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008.
“Over a million travelers in Tennessee are expected to drive to their holiday destination this year,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said in a release. “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,” GHSO Director Kendell Poole said. “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.
For the latest construction activity and live streaming of SmartWay traffic cameras, visit www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic. Travelers can also dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone for travel information, or follow www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel.