Georgia expects pre-pandemic travel volume for Thanksgiving

AUGUSTA, Georgia – Georgia transportation officials predict a return to pre-pandemic traffic volumes on state roads during the Thanksgiving holiday.

“You’re going to be sitting in this old-fashioned traffic again,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said.

On the road

In anticipation of road traffic, the Georgia Department of Transportation is suspending lane closures on Georgia’s highways and trunk roads from 5 a.m. Wednesday to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Authorities have warned drivers to be careful, as crews could still work near roads and some long-term lane closures could remain for safety reasons.

Experts say that while you may not be able to avoid the higher prices on your road trip, a little flexibility can save you a lot of time.

State officials invite you to travel on Wednesdays instead of Thursdays.

They say the best time to travel will be before 10 a.m., especially if you are passing through Atlanta. If you are traveling in or around the Atlanta metro on Wednesday afternoons, add 30 to 45 minutes to your commute time.

And if you thought you were going home tight after the big meal, studies show that the safest route is from the dining table to the sofa.

The Georgia State Patrol and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, among other agencies, have reminded travelers to avoid buying a ticket over Thanksgiving weekend by remembering to wear their seat belts.

The patrol says 24 people were killed in traffic crashes over the 102-hour extended weekend in 2020. Ten of 23 people in passenger vehicles who died in Georgia last year while on vacation Thanksgiving Day weren’t wearing a seat belt.

In the air

Like road traffic, air transport is expected to return to normal levels.

And with both carriers at the Augusta Regional Airport reporting strong ticket sales, airport officials want the public to know about two new amenities:

  • New baggage carousels allow for larger bags, increased capacity and greater reliability. This project also includes outbound baggage transport systems, two airline baggage service desks and a new terrazzo floor.
  • A new security system ensures that people ‘s exit routes are only used for exiting. This prevents people from entering the entrance areas without going through the security checkpoint.

“As the number of passengers continues to increase and the vacation travel season begins, these two new enhancements will contribute to an enhanced airport experience by providing state-of-the-art and improved systems for AGS,” said Herbert L. Judon Jr. ., executive director of the airport.

In your wallet

Gasoline, rental cars and hotels are all more expensive this year.

The national gas average is $ 3.40 per gallon. That’s $ 1.29 a gallon more than a year ago.

In Augusta, gas costs an average of $ 3.16 a gallon, up $ 1.21 from a year ago. Across the river in South Carolina, gas costs an average of $ 3.11 in Aiken and Edgefield counties, also up $ 1.21 from a year ago.

The Ministry of Labor shows that rental car prices have increased 42% this year.

There is also no relief if you fly to your destination.

From staff shortages to possible flight cancellations, airlines expect challenges during the busiest travel season of the year.

“We are seeing a lot of jamming by the airlines and that will continue as the holiday season approaches,” said Willis Orlando, senior product operations specialist at Scott’s Cheap Flights.

According to AAA, rates at mid-range hotels have increased by about 39%.

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