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No Lane Closures on Tennessee Highways During the Thanksgiving Holiday

Thanksgiving travelers will enjoy a smooth drive through Tennessee again this year during the busy travel holiday. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is once again halting 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 24 until 6:00 a.m. Monday, November 29.

"Nearly a million people are expected to use Tennessee roadways to visit family and friends this holiday," said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. "By removing the lane closures from Wednesday until Monday, those travelers will have maximum roadway capacity to help them reach their destinations safely and without delays."

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.

"Drivers can expect to see increased law enforcement on the roads this Thanksgiving holiday," said Governor's Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. "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.

AAA predicts holiday travel will be up slightly this Thanksgiving. An estimated 927,000 people are expected to travel by automobile in Tennessee. Across the U.S. 42.2 million are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this year which is a 11.4% increase over 2009 when 37.9 million traveled for the holiday. Of the 42.2 million travelers nationwide, 94% or 39.7 million people plan to drive to their destinations.

Published November 18, 2010

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