By Amy Kawata

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels and with covid-19 vaccines widely available,  Marylanders are returning to roadways, airways and other forms of travel.

Numbers are approaching pre-pandemic levels and marking major milestones for state transportation, tourism and economic recovery.

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These strong numbers indicate people are returning back to the office and heading back out and about.

“Psh man, busy every day.  I can’t even go outside without it being busy,” said Cureem James.

Governor Larry Hogan said travel this past Fourth of July holiday weekend exceeded pre-pandemic levels — marking an important milestone in Maryland’s road to recovery.

“I just came back from Vermont. I was in New York for a week, just mostly driving,” said Molly Wolfe.

At the height of the pandemic, data revealed that state highway travel fell by 50 percent.

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But for the first time, MDOT officials reported traffic on state highways in the week leading up to the Fourth of July was up 0.04 percent compared to 2019 pre-pandemic.

“I mean it was a lot of traffic. I think it was like a six-hour drive was more like seven and a half,” said Wolfe.

BWI is also seeing a steady rebound in air traffic, with Friday marking the busiest day for departing passengers screening nearly 29,000.

“We are seeing an increase in the passenger flow compared to last summer that’s for sure. So we’re making sure we have as many lanes open and staffed as possible,” said Lisa Farbstein, TSA.

Over at the Port of Baltimore, cargo figures also surpassed pre-pandemic levels in May.

A sign Marylanders are getting back to business and their lives with confidence.

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Governor Hogan also said the traffic volumes exceeding pre-pandemic levels across Maryland make the need for the state’s traffic relief plan more urgent than ever.