No Non-Essential Lane Closures During Peak Travel Times on State Highways
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that lane closures for road and bridge construction projects on New York State highways will be suspended beginning Friday, August 31 at 6 a.m. until Tuesday, September 4 at 6 a.m., in order to accommodate travelers during the busy Labor Day weekend. Some work may continue behind permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs. 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.
"For many New Yorkers, Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer, and we are committed to helping ensure safe, convenient travel during the busy holiday weekend," Governor Cuomo said. "I wish all New Yorkers a happy Labor Day and urge travelers to follow the rules of the road, enjoy time with their families, and take a moment to observe the importance of the labor movement, which was born here in the Empire State."
Additionally, Governor Cuomo is urging motorists to follow the state's Move Over Law, which requires motorists to slow down, drive with care, and safely move over when approaching law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks, and construction or maintenance vehicles that are stopped along state roads. The law was enacted in 2011 to protect New Yorkers working along the roadway and has since been expanded to include a wider range of emergency and hazard vehicles.
New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "I can't stress enough the importance of obeying vehicle and traffic laws not just on Labor Day weekend, but year round. As part of Governor Cuomo's drivers first program, motorists will be able to get to and from their destinations quicker and easier this Labor Day weekend. Our crews will be back out there in force when the weekend has ended. I urge motorists to drive cautiously, have patience in work zones, and please treat our workers with the respect they deserve."
Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "Driver safety is the Thruway Authority's top priority and as we wind down the busy summer travel season, we want travelers to get to and from their destinations safely, on time, and with no construction-related delays. I strongly encourage travelers to utilize the Thruway's numerous Service Areas, Text Stops, and Welcome Centers to take a break and to avoid distracted driving."
Terri Egan, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and Acting Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, said "Governor Cuomo's Drivers First initiative makes it easier to get where you want to go during peak travel days and allows road crews and construction workers the chance to spend the holiday weekend with their families. We hope all New Yorkers have a fun and enjoyable Labor Day and remember to drive safely. With more people on the roads, this is a perfect time to remind drivers to put their cell phones away, follow the speed limit and please, on Labor Day weekend and every day, do not drive if you are impaired by drugs or alcohol."
New Yorkers are reminded that state and local law enforcement will be participating in the statewide "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" enforcement through Labor Day, September 3. The enforcement and education campaign is designed to prevent intoxicated and under the influence driving on state and local roads. Motorists can expect to see law enforcement stopping and arresting impaired drivers in order to keep New York's roads safe this holiday weekend.
Motorists are encouraged to utilize 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.
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.
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.
Travelers are reminded to check 511NY by calling 511 or by accessing www.511ny.org before departing. The free service allows users to check road conditions or link to air and transit information.
Mobile users can download the free 511NY mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play stores. The app now features Drive mode, which provides audible alerts along a chosen route while a user is driving, warning them about incidents and construction. Users can set a destination prior to departing and receive information on up to three routes.
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 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.
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