The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced this week that there will be no lane closures over the holiday season. From midnight December 23 through 6 AM January 3, drivers in Tennessee drivers will not experience any lane closures.
“Road construction won’t delay travelers during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. 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,” the agency stated.
The TDOT halted temporary lane closures over the Thanksgiving Holiday this year as well. The Tennessee Star reported the TDOT would halt construction due to Thanksgiving being the most traveled holiday of the year.
Similarly, there will be an exception for some construction areas where long-term closures that must remain. “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.”
TDOT added a fine between $250 and $500 for any speeding in construction worker zones are possible, along with court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.
AAA’s holiday travel predicted an increase of 34 percent from 2020 of Americans traveling out of state this year for the Christmas season. They continued the 27.7 million travelers this year is 92 percent of the amount recorded in 2019, and airlines would see a 184 percent increase of travelers from last year.
Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel said in a statement, “Americans who canceled their vacations in 2020 want to gather with family and friends for the holidays this year, although they will still be mindful of the pandemic and the new omicron variant.” She continued many are now comfortable traveling due to the developments in COVID vaccinations and booster shots.
The auto club also recommends everyone traveling this year to check with the CDC guidelines to keep themselves safe from the COVID virus and to take precautions while traveling.
The TDOT noted live streaming traffic cameras may be accessed from smartphones or computers for those interested in observing roadway conditions. Alternatively, drivers can text 511 for any other travel information. They ended their announcement with a stern reminder that “Drivers should never tweet, text, or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.”
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