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Expect busy roads, high gas prices this weekend

Gas prices are expected to reach four-year high during this Memorial Day travel season.
Gas prices are expected to reach four-year high during this Memorial Day travel season.

Despite highway congestion and increases in gasoline prices throughout Memorial Day weekend, AAA predicts millions of Americans will hit the roads.

“Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commute times in major cities altogether – traveling late morning or early afternoon – or plan alternative routes,” Graham Cookson, chief economist and head of research for INRIX, an analytics company that collaborated with AAA in the forecast, said in a news release.

Motorists steering away from Chicago or staying closer to home won’t encounter the same delays but will see high gas prices.

Statewide, the average gas price Thursday was $3.10 a gallon, the highest in four years for the holiday weekend, according to AAA.

But AAA also expects 41.5 million Americans, the most since 2005, will travel this weekend.

The number of travelers is expected to be up 5 percent from last year nationwide and up by 4 percent in Illinois, where 2 million people will travel, according to AAA.

The state will try to make travel easier this weekend by reopening lanes in construction zones where possible, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

IDOT listed the following areas in McHenry County where lane closures will remain in effect:

Bay Road over Lily Lake Drain in Johnsburg; Justen Road at Fox River Tributary in Prairie Grove; and Deerpass Road at Kishwaukee River in Marengo.

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