Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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November 20, 2012

Highway 31 work only local project affecting travelers

Corsicana — Thanksgiving Holiday weekend travelers through Navarro County shouldn’t encounter any major highway construction delays this year.

None of the major interstate mileage through the county is impacted by construction projects, according to Darwin Myers, area engineer for TxDOT. Only travel through Corsicana on Highway 31 — Seventh Avenue within the city — is impacted for the holiday, although Myers said there won’t be any actual work taking place during the holiday weekend.

“There is some signal work that has to be completed at 20th Street and 24th Street before more road work is done,” Myers said. “I did not want them affecting the signals during Thanksgiving week. It’s on hold this week. Everyone will be back Monday to start that signal work.”

One highway project nearby that Navarro County travelers might have to endure is the construction on the Highway 287 bypass around Ennis, Myers said.

“That project is still very narrow,” he said, especially in the vicinity of the Ennis Regional Medical Center near the Highway 34 intersection. Myers said that project is targeting a completion date of late spring/early summer of 2013.

“Other than that, everything in Navarro County is open,” Myers said.

According to a reader survey from Texas Highways  — the state’s official travel magazine  — 48 percent of Texans will be traveling this Thanksgiving holiday. Among those, 92 percent said they will be traveling by car on Texas roadways, which is why the Texas Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers to obey all traffic laws when driving.

“Historically, the busiest travel days are the day before and the Sunday following Thanksgiving,” said John Barton, TxDOT deputy executive director. “Thanksgiving is a time to be spent with family and friends, so we want to make sure Texans get to where they need to be safely.”

In 2011, there were 26 deaths and 848 serious injuries from traffic crashes that occurred during the Thanksgiving holiday reporting period. To remind road travelers to be safe and arrive alive, TxDOT is asking drivers to follow a few simple rules of the road:

• Pay attention.

• Buckle seatbelts.

• Put the phone away.

• Left lane for passing only.

• Never drink and drive.

TxDOT will not schedule lane closures for road construction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area before or the weekend after Thanksgiving. Motorists should still be cautious when driving through a construction zone. In a construction zone, lane configurations may have changed, lanes could be narrower, and traffic will be heavier during the holiday. Stay alert, slow down and plan your route in advance to avoid construction zones and heavy traffic areas if necessary.

Travel planning tips:

• Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained.

• Stay tuned to local news, road closures, changing conditions and weather alerts.

• Check online highway conditions information at DriveTexas (www.DriveTexas.org).

DriveTexas is mobile friendly and a great tool that offers real-time road conditions, traffic and weather feeds. Travelers can also call TxDOT’s highway conditions line at (800) 452-9292 for routing and trip-planning information.

Even if you’re not headed to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving, TxDOT encourages travelers to pick up the latest edition of Texas Highways magazine where you can always find your next destination. Visit www.texashighways.com for more information.

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