MDOT suspending work, keeping eye on traffic ahead of busy travel weekend

By MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION,

JACKSON -– Mississippians planning to hit the road to spend time with family and friends this Thanksgiving will notice less travel delays due to construction. The Mississippi Department of Transportation will suspend all interstate and four-lane highway work in anticipation of increased holiday travel.

MDOT crews and contractors will halt all road construction requiring lane closures beginning today at 5 p.m. through Monday, Nov. 27, at 6 a.m. This will provide the maximum travel capacity, and minimal construction delays, to motorists traveling throughout the state this Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

"“While we are suspending work statewide, motorists should be aware that some lane closures will remain in place,”" said Melinda McGrath, P.E., MDOT executive director. "“These lanes closures are there to protect motorists, and we urge drivers to treat these areas as active work zones.”"

Motorists are urged to continue to pay attention to work zones, which can present unfamiliar driving patterns. Motorists should slow down when approaching and traveling through work zones, and always avoid distracted driving.

“"MDOT wants to make travel safe and convenient for the public this holiday weekend,”" McGrath said. “"While our construction crews won’t be working, we will be putting additional effort into monitoring the state’s highways to make sure everyone is able to enjoy the holiday weekend safely.”"

That additional effort will come from MDOT’s Traffic Management Center. Using traffic cameras, congestion analysis technology, radar and temperature sensors, along with local agency communication, the TMC observes the most traveled highways in the state to ensure the safety and mobility of the traveling public.

MDOT’s TMC is the information hub or nerve center of Mississippi’s highway management system. Information is collected, verified and disseminated to necessary stakeholders like the media, other state and local agencies, and the traveling public. The TMC is staffed 24/7 with locations in Jackson, Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast.

At the click of a button, important traveler information about Mississippi’s highways is sent to approximately 100,000 people across the state. The TMC releases traveler information through various channels.

• Traffic alerts are sent via email or text to subscribers who sign up on MDOTTraffic.com.

• Information is released through MDOT’s smartphone app.

• Travel information and alerts are accessible by calling Mississippi 511.

• Dynamic Message Signs

• Highway Advisory Radios

• Social media outlets

“Using these communication channels, we are able to quickly and effectively notify the public of concerns that may affect their travel plans,” McGrath said. “MDOT’s three free travel resources provide an opportunity for Mississippians to know before they go this holiday weekend.”

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