TDOT Halts Construction for Holiday Travel Period
Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will halt all interstate and major road construction during the busy Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel period. TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely instructed contractors to end all construction related lane closures Thursday, December 21, 2006 at midnight. Construction will resume Tuesday, January 2, 2007 at 6 a.m.
“The volume of traffic on Tennessee roadways will increase dramatically during the holiday period,” said Nicely. “We want to make sure travelers make it to their destinations safely without construction activities delaying their trips.”
According to AAA, travel during this Christmas-New Year’s holiday is expected to set a new national holiday travel record. AAA projects that 64.9 million Americans will travel this holiday, with 1.6 million expected to travel by automobile through Tennessee.
All possible lanes will remain open during the holidays, but some long-term construction zone lane closures must remain in place for safety reasons. Those locations include:
- Knoxville: One lane closed on Clinton Highway near I-640 overpass.
- Knoxville: Alcoa Highway right exit only lane to Neyland Drive closed.
- Nashville: One lane closed on I-24/I-40 over Murfreesboro Road.
- Memphis: One lane closed in both directions on the I-40 Bridge over the Mississippi River.
Knoxville drivers are reminded that James White Parkway closed to traffic on Sunday, December 17 and will not reopen until September 2007. Interstate 40 travelers should instead use the new Hall of Fame Drive to access the downtown area.
Though construction workers will not be on site, reduced speed limits will still be in place in construction zones where the special layout requires caution on the part of the driver. Drivers are urged to follow all work zone instructions for their own safety. Motorists are also reminded that Tennessee law requires drivers to move over or slow down for stopped emergency and maintenance vehicles, such as TDOT HELP trucks.
If inclement weather is encountered while driving on Tennessee roads, the following winter weather driving tips are offered by TDOT:
- Slow down—your car needs three times more space to stop on slick roads.
- Eliminate distractions. Leave your cell phone turned off, but have it ready if you need it.
- If it is snowing, raining or foggy to the point where your vision is obscured,
turn your radio off so that you can listen for the traffic you cannot see.
- Turn on your lights so others will see you coming.
- Maintain a distance of six to eight seconds between your vehicle and the
vehicle in front of you.
- Be deliberate in maneuvering your vehicle. Most skidding is caused by sudden stops and turns.
- If your vehicle skids, do not hit the brakes. Ease off the accelerator and steer into the direction of the skid.
- Never stop on the highway unless absolutely necessary. Pull off the road as far as possible to the right if you need to stop.
- Never drive while fatigued. Stop frequently to take breaks.
- Be prepared. Have tire treads, brakes and wipers checked before you leave on your trip.
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 www.TN511.com.