If you’re planning to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, you won’t be alone. More than 39 million Americans are expected to travel during the holiday weekend, bringing Memorial Day travel levels to the highest they’ve been since 2005.
Here in Massachusetts, more than 800,000 are expected to be traveling this weekend by car, with another 80,000 utilizing other modes of transportation, according to AAA Northeast. That’s close to 3 percent more than 2016, and the largest numbers seen locally in over a decade.
Patrick Marvin, of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, said those traveling Memorial Day Weekend are encouraged to plan ahead and utilize the appropriate technology resources to make informed decisions before heading out on the roadways.
The heaviest traffic is expected in the afternoon and early evening hours on Thursday, Friday and Monday. Drivers should, if possible, avoid peak traffic volumes between 1 and 7 p.m. on these days.
MassDOT officials expect traffic to be especially heavy at the Interstate 84 interchange at Exit 9 in Sturbridge on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and at Exit 11A on Interstate 495, which handles cars headed south to Cape Cod and north to New Hampshire and Maine.
Marvin said MassDOT will be suspending all construction work on major roadways from noon on Friday, May 26, through the start of normal business on Tuesday, May 30, to help with traffic conditions.
Residents can find information on traffic conditions through several resources available through MassDOT including:
- Dialing 511 before heading out onto the roadways and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
- Visiting mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, access to traffic cameras, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
- Following MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions
- Downloading MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app to view real-time traffic conditions before heading out on area roadways.
With more drivers on the road this upcoming holiday weekend, it’s also important to stay safe and not be distracted while heading to your destination, especially with expected heavy traffic conditions, according to public safety officials.
“As always, drivers are advised to devote their full attention to driving, minimize distractions including cell phones, remain sober or utilize a designated driver and exercise safety driving behavior in order to ensure they reach their travel destination,” Marvin said.