INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. —The day before Thanksgiving is typically an extremely busy day for road travel.
Experts say this year should be no different. AA projects more than 50 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this holiday, making it the highest Thanksgiving travel total since 2005.
The Indiana Department of Transportation says they want to help ease conditions for the thousands of Hoosier drivers by temporarily halting all highway construction projects.
“We will not have contractors, we will not have crews working on the roadways during the holiday period,” Nathan Riggs said.
Despite the suspension of work, Riggs warns some construction zones will still have restrictions, and says it important for drivers to plan their routes ahead of time.
“Know where those constructions zones are going to be, know where those closures that will be remaining will be located so that you’re not caught in an unexpected situation,” he said.
Riggs noted that some of the biggest problem areas for drivers may include the I-65/I-465 interchange on Indy’s southside, and the State Road 37 construction area between Indianapolis and Bloomington.
All construction projects on the highways are scheduled to resume at midnight Sunday.
While there will be fewer construction workers on Indiana highway, Indiana State Police Sergeant John Perrine says drivers can expect to see a larger law enforcement presence.
To help crack down on speeding, and drunk drivers ISP will be conducting saturation patrols throughout the region. Perrine says the patrols will focus on target areas that ISP has identified as “problem areas.”
“We’re going to target areas that produce a lot of drunk driving crashes and drunk driving arrests and we’re going to saturate those areas and get those people off the roads,” Perrine said.
Perrine said drivers can expect to see that police presence on Wednesday due to the amount of heavy drinking that typically occurs the day before Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile at the Indianapolis International Airport, TSA officials say they already experienced their heaviest volume day last Friday.
However, passenger totals are expected to be up throughout the weekend with more than 30,000 expected to come through the airport.
TSA official Kevin Bidwell says Saturday will likely be a busiest day of the two. TSA is currently expecting more than 16,000 people to come through the airport, a 29% increase over the typical Saturday.
“It just ends up being that many more people to have to process,”
Bidwell says travelers should plan on being at the airport at least two hours before their flight leaves to be safe.