Memorial Day travel to bring increased traffic

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - If you’re looking to hit the roads over Memorial Day weekend, the Mackinac Bridge Authority and MDOT have some tips on what to expect. Upper Michigan roads are expected to see a big increase in traffic with an expected 20,000 crossing the bridge between Friday and Sunday. The Mackinac Bridge Authority says that number is on par with 2021 and a 9% increase from two years before.

“We’re holding pretty good to what we had last year so we’re thinking we’ll be in that range compared to 2019,” Kim Nowack, Mackinac Bridge Authority bridge director said.

Peak traffic times are expected to be Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The bridge authority expects the largest influx of vehicles going northbound on Friday and just under 20,000 going southbound on Saturday.

MDOT says construction in high-traffic areas will be on pause so that they can accommodate the large influx of travelers.

“Our goal is because Northern Michigan, all of Michigan actually is so dependent on that travel tourism as an industry we like to make sure that people can get where they want to go with minimal delay,” James Lake, MDOT North communication representative said.

While traffic will be busy, a representative with AAA says they expect to see a large increase in holiday flyers compared to last year.

“In Michigan, we expect about 55,000 Michiganders will be flying for this holiday weekend and that’s up about 21% compared to this time last year,” Adrienne Woodland, AAA spokesperson said.

Although gas prices remain at historic highs, AAA does not anticipate a decrease in travelers.

“We’re seeing that many people will look at other alternatives to save money like driving shorter distances, spending time in a less expensive hotel or cutting money towards dining, shopping and entertainment while they are on vacation,” Woodland said.

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