The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced they would halt all lane closures over Thanksgiving Weekend. According to the TDOT website, “All construction-related lane closures will be stopped beginning at noon on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, through midnight on Sunday, November 28, 2021.”

The TDOT said they are expecting higher volumes of traffic due to the holidays.

“Thanksgiving is typically the most traveled holiday of the year,” Commissioner Joe Galbato noted, adding, “Halting road work during this time will provide maximum capacity on our highways and help alleviate congestion, especially during the predicted peak travel days of Wednesday and Sunday.”

However, the road building and repair agency was careful to disclose that it will allow some road construction during this time. While there will be no lane closures over the holiday weekend, TDOT will have long-term lane closures in certain construction locations to ensure driver’s safety.

TDOT reminded drivers that there is up to a $500 fee for drivers speeding in a construction zone where workers are present, as well as court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.

The AAA company predicted that this year, there will be 48.3 million on the road this year traveling for Thanksgiving, they’ve called it “the highest single-year increase since 2005.” This is an increase of 13 percent from last year. The TDOD said of the 48.3 million, 1.2 million travelers are expected to be in Tennessee.

Despite the high expectation in drivers this year, AAA advised readers to follow CDC guidelines for family gatherings. AAA said they understand “everyone’s situation is unique and therefore, AAA urges anyone considering gathering or traveling for Thanksgiving to consult CDC guidance before finalizing holiday plans.”

AAA also advised readers to take precautions while traveling. Bob Pishue, INRIX Transportation Analyst, said “Drivers around major metros must be prepared for significant delays, especially Wednesday afternoon. Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.”

For drivers, AAA said they are “[expecting] to respond to over 400,000 for help over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.” The company recommends being prepared for any accidents that could occur during travels, and to be aware of any COVID restrictions that vary state by state.

For it’s part, the state’s transportation department will also have assistance available to address issues out on the freeways. “TDOT’s regional HELP Trucks will also be working throughout the holiday weekend to assist with incidents that may occur along the interstates,” Galbato said.

The TDOT recommends calling 511 from any landline or cellular phone for travel information and said drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely.

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Morgan Nicole Veysey is a reporter for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow her on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Tennessee HOV Lane” by Goldwiser. CC BY-SA 3.0.