December 23, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Suspension of Construction-Related Lane Closures During Peak Holiday Travel Days

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Suspension of...

No Non-Essential Lane Closures During Busiest Travel Times on State Highways


Drivers Reminded to Drive Safely, Don't Drive Distracted and Move Over for Emergency Responders


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that temporary lane closures for road and bridge construction projects on New York State highways will be suspended during peak holiday travel times over the next two weeks to ease travel for motorists. The construction suspension supports Governor Cuomo's Drivers First initiative, which prioritizes the convenience of motorists to minimize traffic congestion and travel delays due to road and bridge work.


"Many families will be traveling over the holidays and we want everyone to arrive at their destinations safely and without any major delay," Governor Cuomo said. "To help ease traffic, we are suspending construction on state roads during peak holiday travel days. Drivers should utilize the many text stops, rest areas and service areas across the state, and always drive sober to help make this a happy, safe holiday season."


All road construction work behind temporary lane closures will be suspended from 6 a.m. Tuesday, December 24 until 6 a.m. Thursday, December 26. Construction will also be suspended from 6 a.m. Tuesday, December 31, through 6 a.m. Thursday, January 2. Some work may continue behind concrete barriers or for emergency repairs.


There will be slight variations for certain Thruway projects based on previous traffic volume. A detailed schedule of Thruway lane closures throughout the holiday weekend is available here.


According to AAA, a record-breaking 104.8 million Americans will drive to their holiday destinations this year, which is an increase of 3.9 percent compared to last year.


New Yorkers are reminded that state and local law enforcement are participating in the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, which runs through Wednesday, January 1, 2020. Motorists can expect to see sobriety checkpoints and more New York State Troopers on the roadways during the holiday travel season. The New York State Thruway Authority will also continue its 49-year tradition of offering free coffee and hot tea to travelers at all 27 travel plazas along the Thruway from 11 p.m. New Year's Eve through 7 a.m. New Year's morning to promote safe and alert driving. 


Travelers are encouraged to use 64 text stops, as well as Service Areas, Rest Areas and Welcome Centers located statewide as needed for texting, making phone calls, and other non-driving tasks.


Motorists are also urged to follow the state's Move Over Law, which requires motorists to slow down and safely move over if they are able to do so, when approaching law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks and construction or maintenance vehicles that are stopped along roads across the state.


New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "The holiday season is a joyous time of year that is best spent celebrating with friends and family - not delayed by construction-related traffic. Governor Cuomo's Drivers First program prioritizes motorists, helping them get to and from their destinations quickly and safely.  On behalf of the dedicated team at the New York State Department of Transportation, I urge everyone to drive safely and enjoy the holidays."


New York State Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "With a record number of travelers expected on the roads this holiday travel season, Governor Cuomo's initiative to suspend construction during these peak travel times will provide motorists some relief from any delays. We urge motorists to make safety a priority on their travels, stay alert and remember to slow down and Move Over if it's safe to do so, when they see emergency responders or workers on the road. They want to spend the holidays with their loved ones as well."


Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "Thanks to Governor Cuomo's Driver's First program, traveling on our roadways during the Christmas and New Year's holidays will be much safer and less hectic. I urge all motorists to drive responsibly during this season and year-round. Avoid distractions, never drink and drive and move over for emergency vehicles, tow trucks or construction vehicles on the side of the road. I join Governor Cuomo in wishing all New Yorkers a happy holiday season."


New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, "The holiday season means increased traffic volumes on our roadways and Troopers will be out in force to ensure everyone gets safety to and from their destinations. We ask drivers to do their part by putting down mobile devices and planning ahead for a safe ride home if your holiday celebrations include alcohol. While road construction will be suspended, motorists should still drive with caution through work zones and obey all posted speed limits."


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 e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway here.


For real-time travel information, motorists should check New York State's official traffic and travel information source, 511NY, before traveling. Call 5-1-1, visit or download the free 511NY mobile app on iTunes or Google Play. The free service allows users to check road conditions, view 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.


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 you to designate a driver, call a cab or ride share, and to review the consequences of impaired driving. You can even use the app to report a drunk or drugged driver. The app is available for Apple, Android, and Windows smart phones.

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office