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Roads and airports are expected to be congested as Illinoisans travel for the holiday

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(The Center Square) – The post-pandemic surge in traveling is expected to continue this holiday weekend as millions of Illinoisans are expected to hit the skies and roads.

AAA is predicting nearly 3 million people in Illinois will travel 50 miles or more this weekend, a 4% increase from last year.

Nearly 90% of those will be driving, but airports in Chicago, Peoria and Bloomington-Normal are expected to be busy.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Friday that lanes that have been closed for construction will reopen, where possible, for the Independence Day holiday to minimize travel disruption. Non-emergency closures will be suspended from 3 p.m. Friday, June 30, to 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 4.

Over the next six years, IDOT is planning to improve more than 2,500 miles of highway and nearly 10 million square feet of bridge deck.

IDOT is teaming up with Illinois State Police for the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign supported by federal funds through July 5, with zero tolerance for those driving impaired by alcohol, marijuana or other drugs.

“Impaired driving is illegal, dangerous and often deadly,” said IDOT Director of Highways Project Implementation Steve Travia. “Driving impaired by any substance puts you and the lives of others at risk. Don’t let an arrest put a damper on your Independence Day.”

According to IDOT, during the Independence Day holiday period of July 1-4, there were 20 fatalities in 19 crashes in Illinois last year.

“Most crashes are preventable,” said ISP Division of Patrol Deputy Director Col. Margaret McGreal. “With the increased holiday traffic, take extra precautions. Buckle up, pay attention, drive sober and obey the speed limit.”

Drivers will pay less for gasoline than they did last year at this time. According to AAA, the averaged price for a gallon of gas in Illinois is $3.92. Last year it was over $5 a gallon.

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