traffic thanksgiving ra3

AAA Texas cautions that ’tis the season for increased movement by the deer population, meaning those taking to the state’s back roads should watch closely for crossings.

Staff photo— Rod Aydelotte

The National Weather Service says Central Texas should have good weather through the Thanksgiving weekend, and the Texas Department of Transportation is trying to keep the highways free of obstacles to reduce the potential for traffic jams.

TxDOT spokesperson Jodi Wheatley said there is no way to relieve the two-lane bottleneck on Interstate 35 from Old Bruceville Road south to its intersection with Loop 363 on the north side of Temple. But a repair project from Abbott to Hillsboro is expected to be finished, and the department plans to have three lanes in both directions open from 363 on the south side of Temple all the way to Austin.

“Traffic will be heavy, and as always, we advise travelers to allow plenty of time to reach their destinations and drive below the speed limit,” Wheatley said.

High temperatures Thursday and Friday are expected to be 70 and 66, respectively, with lows in the mid- to upper 40s, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

A 20 percent chance of rain is predicted Thursday night, and a front coming through Saturday will bring another 20 percent chance of scattered showers, but no precipitation is predicted otherwise after a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms earlier in the week. No freezing temperatures are expected this week or through the weekend.

The predicted temperatures are near normal for this time of year.

The Texas Department of Public Safety issued a press release urging drivers to maintain safe speeds, avoid use of mobile devices behind the wheel, slow down or change lanes for emergency vehicles on the roadside and for any other stopped vehicles if possible, avoid driving fatigued, double up on defensive driving and make sure all drivers and passengers are wearing seat belts.

At the top of the list: Don’t drink and drive.

Troopers statewide issued 28,835 traffic citations and warnings during the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend and arrested 219 drivers on driving while intoxicated charges, according to the press release.

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