RALEIGH — As you prepare to hit the road for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, get ready for heavy traffic, high gas prices and a few construction delays.
The AAA Carolinas motor club estimates that 977,700 North Carolinians will make holiday trips by car, the most since Memorial Day 2005.
Gas prices have held fairly steady over the past few weeks, but Triangle drivers on Wednesday were paying about 21 cents per gallon more than this time last year an average $3.63 for self-service regular, according to the Oil Price Information Service.
As usual on busy holidays, the State Highway Patrol will be out in force on interstate and major four-lane highways. Troopers will be looking for speeders and joining local police at Click-It or Ticket seatbelt checkpoints.
The state Department of Transportation will suspend most road work from 4 p.m. Friday until 9 a.m. Tuesday, but lanes will be closed through the weekend for construction projects on several busy highways:
Interstate 440 on Raleighs Beltline is reduced to two lanes each way for 3.5 miles in Southeast Raleigh, from the I-40 split to the U.S. 64/264 Knightdale Bypass exit.
I-73 in Greensboro has the right lane closed each way between mile markers 98 and 100.
N.C. 53 in Burgaw is reduced to one lane.
N.C. 903 east of Garland is closed for a bridge replacement, with drivers following a marked detour.
U.S. 158 (Elizabeth Street) in Elizabeth City is reduced to one lane each way between Road Street and the Pasquotank River bridge.
U.S. 13 north of Windsor is closed for a Cashie River bridge replacement, with drivers following a marked detour.
U.S. 13/17 south of Windsor is reduced to one lane northbound.
U.S. 264 near Stumpy Point is reduced to one lane.