BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A near-record number of Americans plan to travel this Thanksgiving season, according to AAA. With more than one million Marylanders alone expected to hit the road, state officials are urging motorists to plan ahead.
The Maryland Transportation Authority said it expects more than 3.4 million to use state highways, bridges and tunnels to get to their final destination between Tuesday, November 26 and Sunday, December 1, a slight jump from last year.
The busiest travel day will likely be Wednesday, officials predict.
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With construction projects on the Bay Bridge and elsewhere still occurring, MDTA officials are asking drivers to consider traveling during off-peak hours.
MDTA expects more than 465,000 vehicles to cross the Bay Bridge alone during the holiday week, causing significant delays at times with parts of the bridge’s westbound span closed. The entire westbound span may close nightly from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thanksgiving week as well, leaving a single lane of traffic open in each direction.
Officials say the best times to cross the bridge will be:
- Tuesday, November 26 through Friday, November 29: before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
- Monday, December 2: before noon and after 8 p.m.
- Tuesday, November 26 and Wednesday, November 27: before 5 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
- Thursday, November 28 through Sunday, December 1: before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
- Monday, December 2: before 5 a.m. and after 2 p.m.
MDTA says cashless tolling will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. between Wednesday, November 27 and Saturday, November 30.
Along Interstate 95, MDTA says the best times to travel will be:
- Tuesday, November 26 and Wednesday, November 27: before 6 a.m. and after 11 p.m.
- Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29: before 7 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
- Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1: before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
Electronic tolling will be in effect on the Francis Scott Key Bridge and the Hatem Memorial Bridge.
Starting Wednesday, state police will be increasing patrols on roads across the state to crack down on impaired driving, speeding and distracted driving.