Record holiday travel projected

Published 8:01 pm Monday, July 1, 2019

By staff reports

Record-breaking traffic is predicted for this Fourth of July. “We’re expecting almost 49 million people to travel a distance of 50 miles or more on a national level,” said Clay Ingram, AAA Alabama spokesman. “That equates to the busiest Fourth of July holiday ever.”

At this time of year, the Southeast is almost always the busiest travel region of the country for a variety of reasons, Ingram explains. “People from all over the country want to go to the Gulf Coast or Disney World or Universal Studios. To get there, a large majority will have to drive through Alabama.”

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With this record-setting number of travelers on the road, Ingram urges people to get their cars checked by a certified technician to prevent being stranded on the side of the road, eliminate distractions for the driver, and make sure to pad your travel time schedule.

These vacationers, along with the road construction that is going on around the state, will add congestion and cause traffic to move slow, making it take longer to get to destinations than normal.

Thursday morning and Sunday afternoon will be the busiest times to be on the road as well as driving through metropolitan areas during rush hour.

The Alabama Department of Transportation will temporarily halt lane closures on Alabama interstates after noon on Wednesday, July 3, through midnight, Sunday, July 7.

While construction work zones will not be active during the holiday, ALDOT advices travelers to plan for extra time to reach their destination because reduced speed limits will be in effect in many areas where there are work zone materials along the road.

ALDOT also wants to remind travelers of the recently passes law requiring all occupants of a vehicle to wear a seat belt as well as to designate a sober driver and slow down.

Alabama has one of the lowest state average gas prices in the country and to help find the gas stations with the lowest prizes you can use the AAA phone app.

“The state average for gas is $2.33 per gallon, which is pretty good for summer vacation time,” said Ingram. “The average price is 20 cents less than they were this time last year.”