NASHVILLE – Road construction won’t slow motorists down as they travel Tennessee’s highways this Memorial Day weekend. The Tennessee Department of Transportation will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at 12:00 noon on Friday, May 25 through 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29. This will provide maximum roadway capacity for motorists expected to travel in the state this Memorial Day weekend.
“Halting road construction during this busy holiday weekend will minimize congestion and delays on Tennessee’s interstates, said Commissioner John Schroer. “We want to keep traffic flowing so everyone can have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.”
Motorists will still encounter some lane closures on long term construction projects. Drivers should be aware that reduced speed limits will be in effect in work zones. Slower speeds are necessary in work zones due to the temporary layout of the roadway. Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of up to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.
“Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer and we want everyone to arrive at their destination safely,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. “If you’re traveling this Memorial Day weekend, be sure to buckle up and avoid distractions inside your vehicle.”
AAA estimates 34.8 million people will travel more than 50 miles this Memorial Day holiday, reflecting a slight nationwide increase of 1.2% from 2011. Of this number, AAA predicts nine out of ten travelers will travel by car. In Tennessee, AAA projects 613,327 will travel by automobile and 58,168 by air, which is a 1.5% increase over Tennessee’s 2011 travel numbers.
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 use the TDOT SmartWay Mobile website at http://m.tdot.tn.gov/SmartWay/ 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.