MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer in Minnesota, and it also marks one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
Already by noon, a number of spots in the metro were showing some of that holiday traffic. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported that Interstate 94 westbound near Monticello was temporarily down to a single lane due to a pavement failure around noon.
Officials with AAA said they expect a little more than 36 million people to travel 50 miles or more this holiday weekend. Nearly 90 percent of those travelers will be driving. Because of our awful winter, even more people will be out traveling as we look forward to a warm summer.
Analysts are forecasting will be one of the biggest Memorial Day travel weekends in more than a decade.
While AAA officials said most people will drive to their vacation spots, the number of Americans flying or taking a cruise or train this summer will also be greater than last year. Officials said the 90 percent of people driving is up from 2013, and it’s not a bad idea since the national average for gas prices is about $3.65 per gallon.
Here in Minnesota, most of us are paying about $3.48 per gallon, but a little more in some areas. Analysts said they expect gas prices to actually fall a bit through the beginning of the summer. That’s because the U.S. is producing enough oil to offset declining production in countries in the Middle East.
If you’re driving and want to get to your destination hassle free, you might want to look at traveling during off hours. The roads will be most congested between 12 p.m. and 8pm Friday and Monday.