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TDOT official talks about Thanksgiving travel


JACKSON, Tenn. – Thanksgiving is just around the corner and many people will be traveling for their celebrations. 


Nichole Lawrence, the Community Relations Officer for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, says they will once again be halting lane closure activity on interstates and state highways this year to help with the expected traffic.

“When we halt those temporary lane closures, it provides extra capacity because we’re opening up lanes,” Lawrence said. “There’s more people on the road and we want people to understand that you still need to plan ahead, you still need to slow down, buckle up, all those things to help keep you safe during the holiday travel.”

TDOT’s SmartWay map is available online through a web browser and can show you where traffic is moving slower, the locations of reported crashes, and any road closures.

“It’s a web-based map. It’s interactive. You can go in there and pick out if you’re looking for road conditions. We’re always a partner with Waze. So in the top right corner you can choose the Waze option. You can see if there is anything that Waze has picked up that maybe we have not,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence says just because they will not be having the lane closures does not mean there will not be workers by the roads.

She says it is always important to get over if you can. But if not, make sure you slow down.

“You know safety is always our number one priority. Just because it’s a holiday and just because we are halting those temporary lane closures doesn’t mean that there won’t be people out there working. Because we are still trying to continue to keep our roads the safest in the nation. We want to continue that work when those folks are out there,” Lawrence said.

If you are traveling out of state, you can find similar websites for Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and many others.

AAA predicts over 1.2 million people will travel during the holidays. That is an increase of almost 30,000 people from last year.

You can find more news from across the state here.

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