NJDOT plans for Thanksgiving holiday traffic
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) will expand operation of its roadside assistance program for disabled vehicles during the Thanksgiving holiday period and also will suspend daily maintenance and construction activities that normally would result in lane closures, the Department announced today.
The Emergency Service Patrol (ESP), which travels selected highways in northern and southern New Jersey in search of disabled vehicles and stranded motorists, will operate extended hours on Wednesday night, November 26. The ESP vehicles also will operate during the afternoon and evening hours on Sunday, November 30.
The NJDOT also is suspending all daily roadway activities which would result in lane closures, beginning at noon on Wednesday, November 26 through Monday morning, December 1.
Transportation Commissioner John J. Haley Jr. noted that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday following the holiday are traditionally heavy travel days.
"A blocked lane is no lane at all, as far as motorists are concerned," Haley said. "That is especially true during Thanksgiving, when heavy traffic volumes are as assured as turkey and pumpkin pie.
Our ESP vehicles will be searching for and clearing disabled vehicles from travel lanes on Wednesday night and throughout the day on Sunday. Re-opening lanes as quickly as possible will benefit everyone who is traveling our highways this holiday."
The ESP patrols, established in 1994, normally operate Monday through Friday from 4 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. On Wednesday night, the ESP vehicles will operate until 10 p.m. The patrols also will operate on Sunday from noon to 10:30 p.m.
The ESP vehicles are equipped with push bumpers to clear disabled vehicles. ESP operators are trained and equipped to provide basic assistance, such as changing a flat tire or providing gas to out of fuel vehicles. The ESP vehicles are equipped with cellular phones to call towing service when needed.
The ESP operates along sections of I-80, I-280 and I-287 in northern New Jersey and I-76, I-295, I-676 and Routes 42 and 55 in southern New Jersey. Patrol areas are marked by signs.