Away we go: Delaware Memorial Day travel expected to grow [video]

 (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

(Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

Nearly 111,000 Delawareans are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, a 2.8 percent increase over last year. 

AAA Mid-Atlantic’s projection for Delawareans traveling more than 50 miles this weekend means nearly 12 percent of the state population will be on the move. Clogging local and regional roads will be 97,000 of those travelers who will get to their holiday destination via car. That’s a 2.6 percent increase on the roads compared to Memorial Day 2016.

With that many people on the roads, drivers are always looking for a way to avoid delays. But as Memorial Day travel patterns have expanded in recent years, its unclear when the worst of the traffic will be. “A lot of travelers are just taking that extra time off Thursday and traveling, so we’re not sure exactly when the best time might be to get out of town,” said Ken Grant of AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Regardless, we do advise people to make sure your car is prepped, have an emergency pack just in case … and pack your patience.”

Drivers will see lower than expected gas prices as the summer driving season kicks off this weekend. AAA had expected Delaware gas prices to be around $2.70 per gallon by this time of year, but the actual Delaware average is around $2.27 per gallon. That’s on par with last year’s Memorial Day price average of $2.25. “Normally, Memorial Day weekend is when you see the big increase, but because of a glut of supply and some other factors now, things are staying in that $2.30 range,” Grant said. “We’re hoping that, for all the motorists sake, that it remains relatively low.”

DelDOT has suspended all construction-related lane closures to help ease the flow of traffic throughout the holiday weekend. That work won’t resume until Wednesday, May 31. Some lane shifts or closures may still be in place in some spots.

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