Construction could slow holiday traffic on NW roads

(Oregon Public Broadcasting) — Fewer people are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend than last year. Triple A of Oregon/Idaho is projecting about a 2 percent drop.

But 5.5 million people are still expected to take trips around the Pacific Northwest, making roads very busy.

Triple A spokeswoman, Marie Dodds, says the good news for drivers is that gas prices are slightly lower this year.

Dodds said, "We were looking at gas prices in Oregon on average of $4.25 a gallon last year on Memorial Day. And the current Oregon average is about $3.98 a gallon so that's cheaper. But we have seen increases in car rental rates, and hotel rates as well as airfare. And in fact car rental rates are the highest they've been in four years averaging $43 dollars for a weekend daily car rental rate."

Several construction areas could delay drivers. A project could slow drivers on I-84, four miles East of Multnomah Falls; on I-205 at the Oregon/Washington boarder; one mile east of Tillamook on highway 6; and where Highway 22 intersects with I-5 in Salem.

Memorial Day airfares are up about 10 percent compared to last year.

Hotel rates are also up, according to Triple A — as much as four percent, depending on the type of hotel.

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