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Road construction won’t delay travelers during the Christmas and New Year’s 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 Tuesday, December 24, 2013 through 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 2, 2014.
“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 maximize capacity on our roadways,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “We also want to keep our roadways safe. Our law enforcement partners will be out in full force so wear your seatbelt, reduce your speed, avoid distractions, and don’t drive if you’ve been drinking.”
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.
AAA predicts holiday travel will increase about 1.5% 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. 85.8 million people are expected to drive to their year-end holiday destinations. Americans will travel an estimated 805 miles round trip.
Updated travel and construction information can be found on the TDOT SmartWay website at www.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. 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 construction related lane closures and 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.