BUFFALO, N.Y. — If you're traveling over the Memorial Day weekend, one thing you might notice is less construction on state highways.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said temporary lane closures for road and bridge construction projects will be suspended from 6 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Tuesday on New York State highways.
"Memorial Day is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, and we want every New Yorker to enjoy the weekend and get where they need to go safely and efficiently," Cuomo said in a statement issued Thursday.
"We will be suspending all road and bridge construction throughout the weekend to minimize delays for travelers on the roads."
With the traffic announcement, the state also urged motorists to slow down and move over in construction zones in general, to help ensure the safety of tow operators and people who are working along the highways.
"As always, I urge everyone on the roads this weekend to drive safely, to remember to move over for roadside emergency and maintenance vehicles, and to utilize text stops to avoid distracted driving," Cuomo said.
According to AAA, more than 37 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home this year over the Memorial Day weekend. That's up 60 percent from last year, when only 23 million people traveled for the holiday. That was an all-time low since 2000, when AAA started tracking these stats.
While the increase will be a welcomed sight for the travel industry, it's still 13 percent, or about 6 million people, less than 2019, the last pre-pandemic Memorial Day weekend.
“As more people get the COVID-19 vaccine and consumer confidence grows, Americans are demonstrating a strong desire to travel this Memorial Day,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel.