NASHVILLE - Tennessee road construction won't be slowing motorists' travel in most cases over this year's long July 4th holiday, state transportation department officials announced today.
But travelers can expect stepped-up traffic enforcement.
The state will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes from 6 a.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Monday to provide "maximum roadway capacity" for holiday travelers.
"We anticipate heavier than normal traffic on Tennessee's interstates and state routes all the way through the July 4th holiday weekend," Commissioner John Schroer said. "Suspending lane closures until next week will help travelers reach their destinations safely and without unnecessary delays."
Motorists still will encounter some long-term lane closures on construction projects. While lane closure activity will be stopped, workers may be on site in construction zones and reduced speed limits in work zones will remain in effect.
Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face fines of $250 to $500, plus court fees and, possibly, increased insurance premiums.
Meanwhile, Kendell Poole, director of the Governor's Highway Safety Office, said drivers need to buckle up and observe traffic laws.
"Drivers will notice an increased law enforcement presence on Tennessee's roadways throughout this week and weekend in an effort to ensure that everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July holiday," Poole said.
According to AAA estimates, 723,973 Tennesseans will hit the roadways, and a total of 34.4 million Americans will drive to their July 4th destinations. July 3 and July 7 are expected to be the busiest travel days of the holiday period.
Travelers are reminded to dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone to access valuable information about travel conditions any time.