TDOT to suspend lane closures for Thanksgiving holiday
JACKSON, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Transportation said it will halt lane closure activity on interstates and state highways starting Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday. TDOT crews squeezed in construction projects Monday, just days before Thanksgiving. Howard Hale, a driver, left Jackson on Monday and headed for Pigeon Forge. “Can’t walk a long way, but I love to drive,” he said. TDOT plans to stop construction-related lane closures beginning at noon Wednesday through 6 a.m. Monday. The agency said they do it to provide maximum capacity on roadways and help alleviate congestion. “We want to make sure that we are providing a safe environment for the motorists to travel to their families and back during the holiday,” TDOT Community Relations Officer Nichole Lawrence said. TDOT said long-term lane closures will remain in place. “It stays in place for safety reasons,” Lawrence said. “One, because the road‘s not ready to open or there‘s still work ongoing.” Lawrence said to expect construction along I-40 in Memphis at the Wolf River Bridge and lane shifts around mile markers 180 to 190 if you head east on I-40 to Nashville. Some drivers said they prefer to drive at night to avoid the traffic. “You don’t get the headache of having to deal with all those people in the road,” Matt Austin, a driver, said. Hale said he does not mind traveling for Thanksgiving. “We have to watch the other fella as well as our own,” he said. “Try to just be safe and watch ’cause you never know what‘s going to happen.” TDOT said despite suspended lane closures, workers may be on site in some construction zones. The Tennessee Highway Patrol said it plans to have troopers stationed every 20 miles along I-40 on Wednesday and Sunday. The see a TDOT Smartway interactive map showing locations of construction and other maintenance work, visit smartway.tn.gov/traffic.