The Tennessee Department of Transportation doesn’t want construction-related lane closures to slow motorists down during the busy Memorial Day weekend.
TDOT announced Wednesday that the agency will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at noon Friday, May 28 through 6 a.m. Tuesday, June 1. This will provide maximum roadway capacity for motorists expected to travel in the state this Memorial Day weekend.
“Motorists traveling on our roadways this holiday weekend will have no construction-related lane closures impeding their travels,” said Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “We want to keep traffic flowing so everyone can have a safe and enjoyable trip through Tennessee.”
Motorists will still encounter some long-term lane closures on construction projects and for emergency repairs due to recent flooding and rockslides in the state. Slower speeds are necessary in 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 up to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.
“Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer and we want everyone to arrive at their destination safely,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. “If you’re traveling this Memorial Day weekend, be sure to buckle up and obey all the traffic laws.”
AAA estimates 32.1 million people will travel more than 50 miles this Memorial Day holiday, reflecting a nationwide increase of 5.4 percent from 30.5 million in 2009. Of this number, AAA predicts that 28 million Americans will travel by car. In Tennessee, AAA projects 617,329 will travel by automobile and 37,601 by air, which is a 5.4 percent increase over Tennessee’s 2009 travel numbers.
For up to date travel information, visit the TDOT SmartWay web site at www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway/  or call 5-1-1. For statewide travel information follow @TN511. TDOT has multiple Twitter accounts including interstate specific accounts.