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Hochul announces suspension of construction-related lane closures for Memorial Day weekend


Fri, May 27th 2022 10:35 am

Construction suspension on state highways helps minimize traffic congestion & travel delays

√ Motorists are reminded to follow all rules of the road and to move over for roadside emergency & maintenance vehicles

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced temporary lane closures for road and bridge construction projects on New York state highways will be suspended from 6 a.m. Friday, May 27, to 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 31, to ease travel throughout Memorial Day weekend.

"Memorial Day is a great time of year to travel and enjoy everything that New York state has to offer," Hochul said. "In order to make our state roads safer and more efficient for motorists, we are suspending all road and bridge construction throughout the holiday weekend. I encourage all New Yorkers to have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and remind them to please drive responsibly and help ensure this is happy and safe time for all."

Motorists should be aware that some work may continue behind permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs. The construction suspension aligns with New York state's “Drivers First Initiative,” which prioritizes the convenience of motorists to minimize traffic congestion and travel delays due to road and bridge work.

According to AAA, more than 39 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more during the Memorial Day weekend, 3 million more than 2021. The increase is expected to be the second highest growth in travelers since 2010. Nearly 35 million people will travel by car, an increase of 4.6%.

A press release stated, “Text stops, including park-and-ride facilities, rest stops, service areas and parking areas along state highways, support the state's effort to reduce distracted driving. All text stops will remain open, providing locations where drivers can safely and conveniently use their phones and other mobile devices for calling, texting, navigating and accessing mobile apps. Texting while driving is especially dangerous, as it requires motorists to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and mind off driving.”

Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "The weekend-long suspension of lane closures is a sensible measure we take to minimize delays throughout the holiday. While reducing delays goes a long way in making road travel safer and quicker, we still urge everyone to always drive responsibly, and move over for roadside emergency and maintenance vehicles. We all want to enjoy Memorial Day, and getting to your destination safely starts with every motorist doing their part – put down your phone, pay attention and buckle up!"

New York State Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "Suspending temporary lane closures for the Memorial Day weekend will allow motorists to reach their destinations with fewer delays. Although construction work is on hold for the holiday weekend, emergency and roadside workers will still be on the roadway assisting motorists. Please remain alert, slow down and move over when you see flashing lights. Lives depend on it."

Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "I applaud Gov. Hochul's actions to help ease travel during the busy Memorial Day weekend. We want everyone to make it to their destination safely. Help keep yourself, your passengers, and everyone sharing the road safe by simply driving responsibly and moving over for emergency and maintenance vehicles. Lastly, plan ahead for a safe ride home to avoid impaired driving."

New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, "Memorial Day weekend is a time of remembrance, celebration and increased travel throughout New York. We urge all motorists to use good judgment, buckle up, drive sober, and put down electronic devices. Although road construction will be suspended, remember to obey the speed limit, and move over for emergency and maintenance vehicles. Together, we can make strides to safely celebrate this holiday weekend."

Travelers can check NYSDOT's 511NY before traveling by calling 5-1-1, visiting the 511 website, or downloading the free 511NY mobile app on iTunes or Google Play. The free service allows users to check road conditions, view 2,219 traffic cameras, and link to air and transit information. The app features “Drive mode,” which provides audible alerts along a chosen route while a user is driving, warning them about incidents and construction.”

Follow New York State DOT on Twitter @NYSDOT and on Facebook at New York State Department of Transportation.

The Thruway Authority reminds motorists that 10 service areas are closed and under construction as part of the $450 million private investment and modernization project. Fuel services remain open at all locations. To ensure continuity of services to thruway customers during construction, no two consecutive service areas in the same direction of travel will be closed for renovations at the same time. Motorists can view the service areas and plan their stops on the Thruway Authority's website and on the free mobile app.

The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app, which is available to download for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert emails, which provide the latest conditions along the Thruway.

Follow the Thruway Authority on Twitter @NYSThruway and on Facebook at New York State Thruway Authority.

DMV and GTSC remind motorists the "Buckle Up New York, Click it or Ticket" campaign, which raises awareness about the importance of wearing seat belts, runs May 23 through June 5. Additionally, state and local police will be participating in a STOP-DWI campaign targeting impaired driving from May 27 through May 31.

The Department of Motor Vehicles urges drivers to use the “Have a Plan” app to help find a safe way home from a celebration where they may be drinking. The free app from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation allows users to designate a driver, call a cab or ride share, and to review the consequences of impaired driving. Users can even use the app to report a drunk or drugged driver. The app is available for Apple, Android and Windows smart phones.

Follow DMV on Twitter @NYSDMV and on Facebook at New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

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