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Travelers set to hit the roads, skies for Memorial Day weekend travel

Rick Bowmer
Associated Press

The upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to be a busy one on the roadways.

Nationally, nearly 44 million people are projected to travel during this time period. The vast majority, 38.4 million are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home.

Mark Schieldrop, a spokesperson with AAA New England said those numbers are back at pre-pandemic levels, and some of the highest since the auto club started offering projections. He said there's a number of factors, including a positive weather forecast, more people looking to travel and gas prices.

"We're nowhere near $4 a gallon, so that certainly will help," he said. “There's a psychological barrier there. Now, people are going to take their road trips no matter what gas prices really are, but when they're above $4 a gallon, that's when people start to feel the pinch."

Schieldrop added roadways will be busiest during the afternoon on Thursday and Friday with both travelers on their way along with people leaving work. Sunday and Monday afternoons are also expected to see increased traffic with travelers heading home.

Others will look to travel by air and it’s expected to also be busy at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., which is the closest airport to western Massachusetts.

Brian Spyros, a spokesperson with the Connecticut Airport Authority, said passenger levels should be on par with this time last year.

"Between May 22 and May 29, the Wednesday-to-Wednesday around the holiday weekend, we anticipate more than 65,000 passengers to depart from Bradley International Airport in that time," he said.

While there will be increased traffic at Bradley, Spyros said it isn't as popular as other travel periods, such as around Thanksgiving. Still, he advised travelers to arrive 90 minutes prior to their scheduled flight in order to make it through security lines in time.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.
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