You'll Have A Lot Of Company On The Roads This Weekend

May 27, 2016

This Memorial Day weekend is expected to be the most heavily-traveled since 2005.  

AAA estimates 38 million people across the county will travel at least 50 miles.

Gail Weinholzer of the Iowa AAA says gas prices in the state are roughly 40 cents lower than they were a year ago, and historically there has been a strong correlation between low gas prices and the number of drivers.

"You know across the board we’re seeing not only more people driving, but more people flying," she says. "We’re seeing not only gas prices affecting people’s automobiles, but we’re seeing average airfares declining as compared to last year."

For those driving, the Iowa Department of Transportation says drivers should be especially aware of roadwork in the western part of the state. Though construction work will be suspended during the holiday weekend, ongoing projects near Sioux City on I-29, and near Council Bluffs on I-29 and I-80 may still slow traffic.

"Even though the contractor may physically not be there, we still have the signs and the barriers. And traffic may be shifted laterally to different locations on the roadway," says DOT Traffic Safety Engineer Mark Bortel. "It’s not a free-flow situation."

Bortel also recommends people be aware of bridge work going in the Des Moines metro and north of Iowa City.

Bortel and Weinholzer remind people to practice safe driving, including driving sober and not using cell phones when behind the wheel.