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A three-day vacation weekend could tempt some people to take another road trip before summer closes Ending.

“With Labor Day weekend being a popular time to travel and party, PennDOT encourages drivers to plan ahead and name a sober driver if they plan to drink,” said Yasmeen Manyisha. PennDOT safety spokeswoman.

She reminded drivers to buckle up, and Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO Mark Compton reminded drivers to be “vigilant” and “properly prepared.”

“When it’s summer officially ends and the remains of Hurricane Ida wear off, families may consider travel options near their homes this year, ”Compton said. “If so, we are reminding motorists that speeding and distracted driving have become much more acute since the pandemic.” The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission estimates that between September 2nd and 7th, more than 2.7 million people will be affected will be traveling on the turnpike.

That represents a 5.6% decrease in vacation traffic over the same period of 2019, Turnpike officials said.

Friday is expected to be the busiest day for travel, according to the Turnpike Commission. Officials estimate that about 700,000 vehicles will run on the turnpike system on Friday.

Turnpike officials estimate about 650,000 vehicles on Thursday, 520,000 on Saturday, 440,000 on Sunday, 450,000 on Monday, and 590,000 on Tuesday.

The average gas price in the Pittsburgh area was $ 3.31 on Thursday, according to GasBuddy. That’s above the national average, which is between $ 3.16 and $ 3.19.

At that time last year, gasoline prices in Pittsburgh were below $ 2.60, with prices peaking in mid-September, according to GasBuddy only $ 2.46 fell. The national average in 2020 was around $ 2.21 in early September.

To accommodate the increased holiday traffic, the Pennsylvania Turnpike will cease maintenance and construction at 3:00 p.m. Thursday until 11 p.m. Monday. All available lanes are open in each direction throughout the weekend.

PennDOT also pauses “the majority” of their projects on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, said Manyisha.

“When it comes to traffic jams, we don’t usually see much in the area, ”she said, although PennDOT doesn’t have specific travel dates.

Drivers can check 511PA.com or the 511PA app for real-time updates on restrictions and travel delays.

Local and state law enforcement agencies will be “targeting disabled drivers through enforcement details” this weekend, PennDOT said, urging people not to drive drunk or affected by illegal drugs or prescription medication.

In 2020 there were 4,698 crashes that resulted in 39 deaths nationwide over the Labor Day weekend, PennDOT reported. Of these, 231 accidents with 12 deaths were alcohol-related and 104 wrecks with three fatalities were drug-related, according to PennDOT. “The PA Turnpike will have patrols and security teams throughout the system to ensure that travelers get to their destination safely”, Turnpike officials wrote in a press release. “That means responding to travelers who need help and taking action against illegal or unsafe behavior.”

“If you aren’t vaccinated, we wouldn’t recommend traveling in the first place,” said Rochelle Walensky , Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during a press conference at the White House Tuesday.

People “who are fully vaccinated and wear masks” can travel as recommended by the CDC, Walensky said . However, given the rates of transmission of Covid-19 in America, people should “consider these risks for themselves when considering travel,” Walensky said.

Julia Felton is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Julia at 724-226-7724, [email protected], or on Twitter.

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