Construction lane closures will stop, but speed limits remain


The Tennessee Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways will be halted in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

The temporary lane closures will be halted from 6 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 23 until 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3.

“We expect over two million drivers to travel Tennessee roadways during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said in the announcement. “Keeping traffic moving and motorists arriving to their destinations safely is always our goal. Please wear your seatbelt, reduce your speed, avoid distractions, and never drink and drive.”

Except for a few long-term closures which must remain in place for safety, all construction-related closures will be suspended during the holiday period. 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. 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.

AAA predicts holiday travel will increase 3.1% in Tennessee this year, with over 2.2 million motorists expected to travel by automobile in the volunteer state between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. According to AAA, 103.1 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more, with a record 93.6 million expected to drive to their holiday destinations.

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