Story submitted by TDOT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Road construction won’t slow motorists across Tennessee over the July 4th holiday. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 through 6:00 a.m. on Monday, July 8 to provide maximum roadway capacity for holiday travelers.
“We anticipate heavier than normal traffic on Tennessee’s interstates and state routes all the way through the July 4th holiday weekend,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “Suspending lane closures until next week will help travelers reach their destinations safely and without unnecessary delays.”
Motorists will still encounter some long term lane closures on construction projects. While lane closure activity will be stopped, workers may be on site in construction zones and reduced speed limits in work zones will still be in effect. Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of $250 to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.
“If you and your family are traveling during this holiday period, please buckle up and observe the rules of the road,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. “Drivers will notice an increased law enforcement presence on Tennessee’s roadways throughout this week and weekend in an effort to ensure that everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July holiday.”
According to AAA projections, more than 40 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this holiday weekend. That figure is down .7% from 2012. AAA estimates 723,973 Tennesseans will hit the roadways, and a total of 34.4 million Americans will drive to their July 4th destinations. July 3rd and July 7th are expected to be the busiest travel days of the holiday period.
Travelers are reminded to dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone to access valuable information about travel conditions anytime, or log on to . TDOT is also on Twitter. For statewide traffic tweets follow TN511 or for regional traffic information follow Nashville511, Chattanooga511, Memphis511 and Knoxville511 . Smart phone users can use the new TDOT SmartWay Mobile website at http://m.tdot.tn.gov/SmartWay/ to access TDOT’s SmartWay cameras and messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs.
Motorists are reminded to use all motorist information tools responsibly. Drivers should refrain from texting, tweeting or using a mobile phone while operating a vehicle. TDOT advises drivers to “Know before you go!” by checking traffic conditions before leaving for their destination.