Preparations begin for Memorial Day travels

Memorial day weekend travel

(KAIT) - Upcoming Memorial Day weekend plans have the Arkansas Department of Transportation working to warn drivers of upcoming road closures and detours.

A lot of construction is going on in the Natural State.

ArDOT District Engineer Brad Smithee said to plan ahead for trips.

“Be observant of construction zones of all kinds, even maintenance zones, any type of work that might be going on the highway systems,” Smithee said.

He said the upcoming holidays will keep the roads heavily traveled.

“These next 4-6 weeks are our nation’s highest road traveled times,” Smithee said. “That’s the time where it’s really important to think and plan your trips and know what you’re getting into as you travel along highways.”

Here are some tips to consider as you travel:

  • Pay attention to road signs
  • Notice people in vests, pay attention to their commands
  • Stay off phones and radio in construction areas

Phones and radios distract our senses while driving, according to Smithee. He advises to keep them off or out of reach when driving.

In construction zones, cones are placed to keep a temporary barrier between the workers and oncoming traffic.

Smithee said it’s sometimes a little too close for comfort.

“Often we see people clipping barrels,” Smithee said. “It’s such a near miss. There could be workers right behind those barrels.”

Some of the road work that might impact your trip are Highway 67 from Newport to Bald Knob, I-555 between Payneway and Marked Tree, and the I-555/I-55 interchange near Turrell.

Check out for updates on road construction and detours before leaving on your holiday trips.

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