DOT to halt construction for Memorial Day Weekend

ConnDOT traffic camera shows Exit 30 in Southington, June 24, 2014.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — For some travelers, beating the holiday rush is important.

“There are some troopers. The roads are remarkably well. I expect them to get a little bit more crazy as the day goes on,” said Steve French, a driver who stopped to rest in Wallingford.

“We haven’t seen too much traffic so far. We’ll see how it goes,” said Robert Lanchester who was driving from New Hampshire to Maryland.

AAA estimates 1.5 million New Englanders will hit the roads this weekend. That’s the largest number since 2005. With so many drivers out there on the highways there are sure to be some issues.

Last year during the Memorial Day Weekend troopers arrested 57 people for drunk driving and issued more than 1200 speeding tickets. There were a total of 285 accidents, two of which were fatal.

“It is a busy weekend with all of the picnics and all of the celebrating and all the remembering those who have fallen. Do, yeah, we do want to remind people don’t drink and drive. If you are gonna drink designate a driver,” said Trooper Kelly Grant.

To help cut down on traffic issues, the Connecticut Department of Transportation says they will halt all construction and maintenance work on highways and major state routes beginning Friday at 6 a.m. and ending Tuesday at 6 a.m.

“There’s just so many people out there on the roads if we continue the work activity it’s a guaranteed recipe for traffic congestion disaster. So, we get off the roads,” said DOT Spokesperson Kevin Nursick.

That means no paving, mowing or road and bridge repairs unless there is an emergency.

“A crash occurs, there’s damage to the roadway, there’s damage to a guardrail. We’ve got to come out and fix that so we have crews on stand by over the weekend,” said Nursick.

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