Construction-Related Lane Closures Limited to Ease Travel During Holiday Weekend
Motorists Urged to Slow Down and Move Over for Roadside Emergency and Maintenance Vehicles
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that temporary lane closures for road and bridge construction projects on New York State highways will be suspended from 6 a.m. on Friday, July 1, to 6 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5, to ease travel throughout the July 4th holiday weekend.
"With record high car travel expected this July 4th weekend, we want to ensure everyone gets to their destination safely and with minimal delays," Governor Hochul said. "I encourage everyone traveling this weekend to plan ahead, drive responsibly and remember to move over when you see emergency responders and workers on the side of the road who are still working to ensure the safety of motorists this holiday weekend. I wish all New Yorkers a happy and safe Independence Day."
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 48 million people will travel this holiday weekend, an increase of 3.7 percent over 2021. With car travel alone, AAA predicts a new record despite high gas prices with 42 million people traveling by car.
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 ten 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.
New York State Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "During this holiday weekend, it is incredibly important for motorists to remain alert on the roads and not drive distracted. The suspension of temporary lane closures will help motorists get to their destinations with fewer delays, but motorists should continue to be alert as emergency workers will still be on the roadways. Please slow down when you enter a work zone, and move over when you see emergency lights and drive safely."
Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "The safety and convenience of the traveling public are always top priorities for the New York State Department of Transportation, and we want to do all we can to help ensure that motorists spend as much time as possible this weekend honoring and celebrating our nation's independence with friends and family instead of sitting in traffic. Governor Hochul's decision to suspend construction activities embraces our priorities of safety and convenience and will help New Yorkers get where they need to go with a minimum of delays. I encourage everyone to drive safely, refrain from any form of distracted driving and to move over for roadside emergency and maintenance vehicles."
Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "The suspension of construction during the weekend will help those traveling our highways get where they need to go, but it is up to each and every motorist to drive safely and share the road with other users. Please follow the rules of the road and especially slow down and move over when you approach emergency workers or first responders, always avoid distractions and have a plan to never drive impaired. We want everyone to have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday."
New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, "Highways are one of the most dangerous work environments encountered by those who respond to emergencies and maintain our roadways. Although construction related roadwork will be suspended during the July 4th weekend, we want to remind everyone to continue to follow the rules of the road. Everyone should still drive with caution through work zones, obey the posted speed limit and be mindful of emergency and maintenance vehicles. Together, we can make a joint effort to ensure everyone has a safe 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.
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 2219 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.
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.
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