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Know Before You Go, Plan Extra Time For Thanksgiving Travel
Updated November 23, 2016 1:26 PM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Indiana Department of Transportation reminds Hoosiers to travel safely and plan more driving time during the busy Thanksgiving travel holiday. AAA Hoosier Motor club predicts that an improving economy will prompt nearly 980,000 travelers to hit Indiana roads Nov. 23 through Nov. 27 - a 2 percent increase over last year.

Hoosier Helpers sponsored by State Farm will patrol urban interstates in Indianapolis, Northwest Indiana and Southern Indiana near Louisville during heavy travel periods this holiday.

New infrastructure

Newly-opened bridges and interchanges will welcome Thanksgiving travelers this year. A U.S. 31 traffic signal is being replaced with a $10.8 million exit at State Road 28 opening tomorrow, serving nearby Tipton and a FCA US transmission plant. Previous improvements near Indianapolis, Kokomo and South Bend removed more than 32 stoplights along U.S. 31.

I-65 Ohio River bridges and improved interstate connections in Louisville and southern Indiana opened to traffic last week. Late this year the new and refurbished I-65 bridges will begin using all-electronic tolling, which means no slowing or stopping for toll booths. For the lowest toll rate, use your E-ZPass transponder or visit www.RiverLink.com to create a prepaid account.

Road work suspended

Most highway maintenance activities and construction projects will halt work this holiday weekend to increase roadway mobility and safety. INDOT directs its contractors to pull back barriers and barricades to the safest extent possible to accommodate the anticipated increase in traffic. Some restrictions will remain in place due to ongoing road construction, including:

  • I-65 lanes are shifted for widening construction in three locations: between Sellersburg (Exit 9) and Memphis Road (Exit 16), between State Road 44 (Exit 90) in Franklin and Whiteland (Exit 95), and between State Road 38 (Exit 168) and State Road 25 (Exit 175) near Lafayette.
  • I-69 lanes are shifted toward the right shoulders for widening construction between State Road 37 (Exit 205) in Fishers and State Road 38 (Exit 219) near Pendleton. Large trucks are advised to use the left lane through the work zone.
  • Sections of State Road 37 from Bloomington to just south of Martinsville are reduced to one lane in each direction for Interstate 69 construction.
  • Sections of U.S. 41 near Vincennes are reduced to one lane in each direction for bridge construction, including at the U.S. 50 interchange
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Know before you go

Learn about traffic and road conditions, crashes and construction on state highways by visiting http://indot.carsprogram.org, calling 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) or dialing 511 from a mobile phone.

Subscribe to receive INDOT news and information by text message or email at http://bit.ly/INDOTsubscription. Find links to INDOT's regional Facebook and Twitter pages at http://bit.ly/INDOTsocial.

Find customer service contact information for your regional INDOT district at https://entapps.indot.in.gov/dotmaps/districtmaps.

Increased enforcement

More than 250 state and local law enforcement agencies will conduct high-visibility patrols through Dec. 4, encouraging motorists to drive sober and buckle up for safety. Increased enforcement during the Thanksgiving holiday is an annual statewide effort supported by federal funding from the Traffic Safety Division of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. Officers will work overtime to conduct sobriety patrols, checkpoints and seat-belt patrols.

According to ICJI, there were 533 alcohol-related crashes across Indiana in November 2015, resulting in 220 injuries and 7 fatalities. In the same month, crash reports indicate 285 accidents involved an unrestrained driver or a passenger, resulting in 302 injuries and 16 fatalities.

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 8 and 15. For families with young children, it's important to have a properly-installed child safety or booster seat for each child. Parents can visit www.childseat.in.gov for a list of locations and a toll-free phone number to speak with experts about the proper installation of child safety seats.



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