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Holiday tradition: TDOT halting lane closures over Thanksgiving weekend

(TDOT)  Thanksgiving travelers will not be delayed by construction on Tennessee roads during this busy travel holiday. 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, 2018 through 6:00 a.m. Monday, November 26, 2018.

“Over 1.1 million motorists are expected to drive to their holiday destinations this year in Tennessee,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “This is the most traveled holiday of the year. Halting road work during this busy time will provide maximum capacity on our highways and help alleviate congestion, especially during the predicted peak travel days of Wednesday and Sunday. TDOT’s regional HELP Trucks will also be working throughout the holiday weekend to assist with incidents that may occur along the interstates.”

While all lane closure activity will be stopped, workers may be on site in some construction zones. Long-term lane closures will also remain in place on some construction projects for motorists’ safety. 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 Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security 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. Wednesday, November 21st through Sunday, November 25th, the Tennessee Highway Patrol will have troopers stationed every 20 miles on I-40, along with increased law enforcement on all highways.

AAA predicts 54.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving holiday, an increase of 4.8 percent over last year. Tennesseans make up 1.24 million of those travelers, with an estimated 1.18 million expected to travel by automobile.

From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest construction activity and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras at www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic. Travelers can also dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone for travel information, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel. As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for your destination. Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.

In 2016, the Tennessee Department of Transportation lost three workers in the line of duty. All three were struck by passing motorists. Those tragedies bring the total number of TDOT lives lost to 112. We don’t want to lose another member of our TDOT family. We’re asking you to WORK WITH US.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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