Early Thanksgiving traffic moving smoothly along I-75 in Laurel County

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 5:19 PM EST
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Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11

LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - The holidays are a time for getting together with loved ones, meaning there might be some extra travelers out on the roads as Thanksgiving draws closer.

Thousands of drivers are passing through or stopping in London along Interstate 75 as they head to their Thanksgiving destinations.

Representatives with AAA sat that despite current gas prices more people will be out traveling for Thanksgiving this year. They predict that this Thanksgiving will have the third highest rate of travel since 2000.

“We’re predicting about 719,000 Kentuckians will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins of AAA Bluegrass. “On a national level, we’re predicting 55 billion will travel.”

That includes travelers like Kevin Pena, who is traveling from Ohio to spend Thanksgiving with family in Georgia.

“Traffic has definitely been a little bit hectic, definitely a lot of cops out,” Pena said. “But overall, it’s not too bad. It’s been a comfortable ride so far.”

Kelly Burton with the London Tourism Commission says they have see the increase in travelers firsthand.

“Our convenient location off I-75 puts London, Kentucky on the map for travelers,” Burton said. “On average, more than 32 to 48 thousand vehicles go through between exits 41 and 38 every single day, so Thanksgiving weekend arriving, we know those numbers are going to increase.

Experts say roadways will be busiest between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., so heading out earlier could be better.

“Just take your time. I know it’s a holiday, people want to get to destinations, but you know what, take your time, once you get there, you’ll be excited and you won’t have any issues.”

Representatives from both AAA and London Tourism say COVID-19 could be a big contributor in the increase of travelers this year and they predict that roadways will be just as busy when Christmas rolls around as well.