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Roadwork to be suspended while holiday traffic flows

November 22, 2011|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com

To accommodate travel on Maryland highways over the Thanksgiving weekend, nonemergency work on all roads maintained by the Maryland State Highway Administration will be suspended between 9 a.m. Wednesday and Monday morning, the SHA said Tuesday.

“This is one of the busiest travel times of the year,” SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar said. “Ten years ago, we might only have to worry about people traveling on Wednesday. Now people make a week out of it.”

In addition to suspending roadwork in certain areas, Gischlar said the SHA would add extra staff to handle accidents.

“People need to prepare for a lot of extra time behind the wheel,” he said. “If they could, it would be better for them to leave earlier.”

Motorists who are in minor accidents without injuries should, if possible, pull over safely into the shoulder lanes to keep traffic from getting too heavily backed up, Gischlar said.

Emergency response units will patrol the interstates in metropolitan areas looking for stranded motorists who need assistance, according to news release from the SHA.

“When you’re in a traffic delay, Murphy’s Law takes over,” Gischlar said. “Travelers will want to make sure their (vehicles) are ready before they get on the road.”

The SHA advises motorists to make sure they buckle up, stay away from lanes with emergency personnel in them when possible, not to travel during peak hours if they can avoid it and to be careful if the weather is bad.

“It only takes a split second for a tragedy to happen,” Gischlar said. “That’s what we’re trying to prevent.”

Motorists can find out about major accidents, traffic delays, estimated travel times and weather conditions by dialing 511 or going to www.md511.org before getting in their vehicles to travel.

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