Lane closures suspended from 6 a.m. July 1 to 6 a.m. July 5
√ Motorists urged to slow down & move over for roadside emergency and 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. Saturday, July 1, to 6 a.m. Wednesday, July 5, to ease travel throughout the July 4 holiday weekend.
"The Fourth of July holiday weekend is expected to be another busy travel period, and we want to ensure people get to their destinations with minimal delays," Hochul said. "I encourage everyone traveling this holiday weekend to plan ahead, drive responsibly, and have a safe and happy Independence Day."
A press release stated, “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. Motorists should be aware that some work may continue behind permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs.”
AAA predicts record breaking traffic volumes over the holiday weekend, with 43.2 million people driving to their destinations, an increase of 2.4% over 2022 and 4% higher than 2019.
The press release said, “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 seven 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.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "The July Fourth holiday is consistently one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. While safety is always our top priority at the Department of Transportation, convenience and ease of travel are also extremely important. In suspending construction activities, Gov. Hochul is helping to accomplish both by making roads safer for drivers and our maintenance workers, and helping travelers reach their destinations with a minimal number of disruptions. It is now up to everyone on the road to do their part: buckle-up, slow down and move over for roadside emergency and maintenance vehicles, put down your phones, and pay attention – we want everyone to have a safe and happy Fourth of July."
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "Independence Day is a wonderful time to celebrate our nation's founding with friends and family, and we ask all New Yorkers to do so safely. If you plan to drink, make a plan for a ride or stay where you are. Remember that everyone in the vehicle should be properly secured, be patient and stay within the speed limit during this busy travel period. It doesn't matter how quickly you reach your destination. What matters is that you do so safely."
New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli said, "The Fourth of July is a commemorative celebration of our nation's independence, and with that comes increased traffic volumes on our roadways. With road construction season is in full swing, the State Police ask all drivers to use extra caution, especially in work zones. Even when road work is suspended, we urge all motorists to slow down and move over for roadside emergency and maintenance vehicles. Troopers will be out in force and on the lookout for impaired, distracted and reckless motorists who put others in danger."
Thruway Authority Interim Executive Director Frank G. Hoare said, "Thousands of motorists will travel on the thruway this weekend for Independence Day, and suspending construction will help ease delays. With record numbers of drivers expected on the roads, we encourage motorists to plan ahead, leave extra time for travel and utilize text stops and service areas on the thruway when they need them. Travelers should also be aware that thruway personnel, emergency workers and New York State Police will be on the roads assisting motorists, so please slow down and move over when they see flashing lights on the side of the road. Drive safely and responsibly, and we wish everyone a happy Fourth of July 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. Follow the Thruway Authority on Twitter @NYSThruway and on 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. Follow New York State DOT on Twitter @NYSDOT and on 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. Follow DMV on Twitter @NYSDMV and on Facebook at New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.