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Heavy traffic expected Memorial Day weekend

5:53 PM, May 25, 2012   |    comments
Traffic on the Downtown Connector (AP File)
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ATLANTA -- High gas prices aren't keeping Americans at home over the Memorial Day holiday. Metro Atlanta commuters are expected to feel the crush Friday afternoon.

"Expect all the normally busy Interstates to be extra-crowded," GDOT spokeswoman Chata Spikes said in a statement. The heaviest traffic going forward is expected Friday afternoon and Monday.

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On Friday, Spikes said: "The worst spots will likely be I-75 north in Cobb County, I-285 (both directions) on the top end and I-75/85 (both directions) through downtown. Additionally, I-75 heading south towards Florida is always extremely congested through Henry County leading into Memorial Day weekend."

"At the tail end of the weekend, expect heavy traffic returning to Atlanta on Monday," Spikes said. "While I-285 and the north side freeways aren't too bad, any of the highways leading FROM Florida are often jammed. The best bet to avoid these delays is to either beat the main rush by returning early Monday morning, or waiting until Tuesday."

AAA projects 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend. That's up 1.2 percent from one year ago.

A survey of travelers found 53 percent saying pump prices would not impact their travel plans.

Of the remaining 47 percent who say gas prices will have an impact on their weekend travels, nine percent said they were planning a shorter trip, while about a third said they would economize in other areas -- such as staying at a lower priced hotel or staying with relatives.

AAA's survey finds that more than seven percent of holiday travelers -- or more than 2.5 million people -- will fly during the holiday weekend. That's down 5.5 percent from last year.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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