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Transit Authorities Prepare for Thanksgiving Rush

PELHAM, N.Y. – Wednesday and Sunday will be two of the busiest travel days of the year and several transportation agencies in New York State have prepared for the increased traffic.

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), New York State Thruway Authority and New York State Police will take measures to keep traffic on highways moving as smoothly as possible in the coming days. Melissa Slater, of NYSDOT, said the department is only making one preparation.

“The only thing that’s standard is that we don’t have the contractors working out there,” Slater said.

All construction workers must be off the road by noon Wednesday until 10 a.m. Monday, she said. The only exceptions will be for emergency work and construction that does not impede the flow of traffic.

Troopers at the New York State Police headquarters in Hawthorne said that state police will be placing extra patrols on the highway.

The heaviest traffic flow on Wednesday and Sunday will likely take place from noon to 8 p.m., according to a press release from the New York State Thruway Authority. Approximately 3.1 million cars traveled more than 114.4 million miles on the New York State Thruway around the Thanksgiving holiday in 2010, which made it one of the busiest traffic periods of the year.

The Thruway Authority predicts that the busiest section of the highway will likely be the Tappan Zee Bridge Corridor northbound at the beginning of the travel period and southbound at the end.

Thruway Authority acting executive director Thomas J. Madison offered tips to drivers to lessen their troubles while travelling.

“Give yourself plenty of time for the Thanksgiving trip,” he said in a press release. “Prepare ahead of time by mapping out your plans, try to depart before the busiest travel times and make sure you’re refreshed and refueled.”

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