TDOT halts highway construction for Christmas holiday

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Road construction won’t delay travelers during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, according to a press release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

TDOT will be halting all lane closures on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state. No temporary lane closures will be allowed for construction on Tennessee roadways beginning at 12:00 p.m. December 20, until 6:00 a.m. January 2.

“With 2.59 million motorists expected to travel Tennessee roadways during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, keeping traffic moving and getting motorists to their destinations safely is our top priority,” said TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright, in the release. “As always, please wear your seatbelt, reduce your speed, avoid distractions, and never drink and drive.”

The release stated that a few long-term closures will remain in effect for safety reasons, but all construction related closures will be suspended during the holiday period.

Drivers should obey all posted speed limits, particularly in construction areas, as some construction workers may still be on-site in some of those zones. The release said that slower speeds are necessary for work zones due to the temporary layout of the roadway and will be enforced. 

Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of $250 to $500, in addition to court fees and possible increased insurance premiums, the release warned. 

According to AAA, 115.6 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more, with 104.8 million expected to drive to their holiday destinations.

In Tennessee, AAA predicts 2.59 million motorists will travel by automobile between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, an increase of 4.4% since 2018, the release said.

For traffic or construction activity updates, access the live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras here

The release said that travelers can also dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone for travel information, or follow TDOT on Twitter.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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