Holiday traffic could be worse this year following pandemic
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Just off I-75, traffic was pretty heavy early Wednesday afternoon and picked up into the evening. The amount of cars on the road hints at much more traffic than last year.
Kentucky State Police said people should expect delays. Drivers in the area said that they were seeing slow sections of road to the North and South.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is usually the busiest travel day of the year. Last year, due to the pandemic, not as many people were traveling. This year, many more people are back on the roads.
“It’s the holidays and people love to go see people and hang out with people and they’ve been cooped up for the last year or so, so hopefully people can spend time with their families,” said KSP Trooper Scottie Pennington.
State police said traditionally, I-75 southbound will experience extremely heavy traffic between London and the Tennessee line, with a combination of holiday travelers and people leaving work.
Highway officials added the interstate in the Southern Kentucky area can see up to 50 thousand travelers a day during the holiday season.
Front Desk workers, like Tristan Ward of London, see the impact of being in a volume area.
”I know last year due to COVID we didn’t see as many people travel,” said Ward. “But, this year you can definitely tell a difference.”
Ward added they expect to see more business as people head home after Thanksgiving.
”We’ll definitely see people traveling back Friday and Saturday this weekend,” he said.
Kentucky Transportation added that there are several construction projects in the region, but they will be shut down for the long weekend.
Current Projects include: South Widening Project (MP 29 to MP 34) North and Southbound with two lanes open at a minimum during the holidays; North Widening Project (MP 41 – MP 48) North and Southbound with two lanes open at minimum; and a Rehab Project (MP 0 – MP 11) with all lanes open.
Transportation officials remind drivers that traffic patterns have changed and to be alert for sudden slowdowns.
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