|TDOT halts construction during holidays |
|Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will halt all interstate and major road construction work that requires lane closures during the busy Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel period. TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely has instructed all of the department’s crews and contractors to stop all construction related lane closures by Saturday, December 22, 2007. Construction will resume early Wednesday, January 2, 2008. |
“The Christmas and New Year’s holiday is one of the busiest travel times on Tennessee roadways,” said Nicely. “We want to make sure travelers have a safe holiday season 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 64.7 million Americans will travel this holiday, with the highest percentage (24.2%) expected to travel in the southeast including an estimated one million motorists who will travel through Tennessee.
Even though no construction lane closures are planned, motorists are reminded to use caution when traveling through the numerous constructions zones in the state. Reduced speed limits will be in place and enforced by the Tennessee Highway Patrol and local law enforcement. 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.