TDOT Suspends Highway Construction for Thanksgiving Holiday

The Tennessee Department of Transportation will halt all construction work requiring lane closures on Tennessee interstates and state highways beginning at noon on Wednesday, November 26 in anticipation of increased Thanksgiving holiday travel.

TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely has informed all of the department’s crews and contractors to stop all road construction work requiring lane closures beginning at noon on Wednesday, November 26 through the early morning hours of Monday, December 1, 2008.

“With the recent dramatic drop in gas prices, more Tennesseans may choose to travel by car over the Thanksgiving holiday period,” said Nicely. “We want to provide maximum roadway capacity for the hundreds of thousands of travelers who will be visiting friends and family over the next several days.”

While lane closure activity will be stopped, workers will still be working in many 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.

“Drivers can expect to see an increased number of law enforcement personnel on the roads this Labor Day weekend,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. “We want everyone to have a safe holiday, so remember to buckle up, drive the speed limit and don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve had too much to drink.”

Despite falling fuel costs, AAA predicts holiday travel will be down slightly this Thanksgiving. 41 million Americans are expected to take a trip 50 miles or more from home this year – a 1.4% decrease from 2007. However, the Southeast accounts for nearly one-fourth of the nation’s travel with 10 million travelers.

Nearly one million Tennesseans are expected to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday period. Of these numbers, it is predicted that 700,501 will travel by car and 90,582 will travel by plane.

For up-to-date travel information, Tennessee motorists are reminded to call 511 from any land line or cellular phone or visit