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


Fri, May 26th 2023 01:10 pm

Lane closures suspended to 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 30

√ Motorists urged to slow down and move over for roadside emergency and maintenance vehicles

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday announced temporary lane closures for road and bridge construction projects on New York state highways will be suspended from 6 a.m. Friday, May 26, to 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 30, to ease travel throughout the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

"Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the summer season, and New Yorkers across the state will be hitting the road to enjoy time with friends and family," Hochul said. "We are suspending construction on state roads to help ease traffic and ensure that everyone is able to reach their destination safely and with minimal delays. I urge everyone traveling this weekend to do their part by planning ahead and driving responsibly."

A press release stated, “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.”

AAA predicts 42.3 million people will travel this Memorial Day weekend, an increase of 7% over 2022. With car travel alone, AAA predicts an increase of 6% from a year ago, more than 2 million drivers, totaling 37.1 million people.

The press release added, “Motorists should follow the state's ‘Move Over Law,’ which requires motorists to slow down and safely move over for law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks and construction or maintenance vehicles that are stopped along roads across the state.

“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.”

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. Motorists can view the service areas and plan their stops on the Thruway Authority's website and on the free mobile app.

DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Traveling, especially during a busy holiday weekend, can be difficult and stressful, so it is our goal at the New York State Department of Transportation to make travel as easy and safe as possible. By suspending construction activities, Gov. Hochul has shown her commitment to safety and convenience, which will allow travelers to reach their destinations with as few disruptions as possible. I urge all motorists to buckle-up, put your phones down, and pay attention – so that everyone reaches their respective destinations, safely."

Thruway Authority Interim Executive Director Frank G. Hoare said, "Memorial Day weekend is typically a very busy time on the road, and suspending construction will help minimize traffic congestion and delays. Although construction work is on hold, emergency and roadside workers will still be out assisting travelers. It's critical motorists remain alert, slow down and ‘Move Over’ when they see emergency vehicles on the side of the road. Driving responsibly can save lives."

DMV Commissioner and Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "With warmer weather, a lot of us are excited to get out on the open road to explore new summer travel destinations. With more cars comes more risk of drivers not paying full attention to the road and greater chance of crashes. It is so important for everyone to do their part to watch out for their fellow travelers along the way to make sure everyone gets where they are headed safely and securely."

New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli said, "Highways are one of the most dangerous work environments encountered by those who respond to emergencies and maintain our roadways. During Memorial Day weekend, not only are there many celebrations, but also increased travel throughout New York state. While road construction will be suspended, motorists should continue to follow the rules of the road. Motorists are reminded to drive with caution through work zones, obey posted speed limits, be mindful of emergency and maintenance vehicle, and to not drive impaired. Together, we can make strides to safely celebrate this holiday weekend."

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.

The Thruway Authority is on Twitter @NYSThruway and Facebook at New York State Thruway Authority. 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.

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

The DMV 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.

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

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