Fill your tanks and fasten your seat belts for a very busy Memorial Day weekend on the road.
The AAA Carolinas motor club predicts that a little more than 1 million North Carolinians – the highest number of the past decade – will hit the highway for the first big weekend of the summer vacation season.
Gas prices have increased by 23 cents a gallon in the past month. But, at an average $2.577 Wednesday for self-service regular, Triangle drivers are still paying $1.05 less for gas than this time last year.
In all, AAA figures that 37.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for the holiday weekend. The U.S. Travel Association says all those trips will inject $12.3 billion into the national economy.
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The state Department of Transportation says it will suspend work on most road and bridge projects between 4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Tuesday. Drivers can expect to see lanes closed around work on U.S. 158 in Elizabeth City, U.S. 264 in Dare County, N.C. 211 in Brunswick County, Third Street in Wilmington, I-85 south of the Virginia line, and I-73 in Guilford County.
DOT advised holiday drivers to leave early, stay alert, obey the speed limit and avoid distractions. The Governor’s Highway Safety Program says North Carolina law enforcement officers will be looking for seat-belt violators in the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign.