Record traffic expected on Maine Turnpike this holiday weekend

Labor Day weekend traffic expected to be up


More people than ever before drove on the Maine Turnpike Friday on their way to their Labor Day Weekend destination, according to the Maine Turnpike.

Erin Courtney, a spokesperson for the Maine Turnpike Authority said they expect 1.1 million cars to travel on the Turnpike over the course of the holiday weekend.

She said roughly 339,000 vehicles would travel on Friday, followed by another 267,000 on Saturday, with peak traffic on Saturday occurring from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Courtney said on Labor Day drivers should expect heavy traffic southbound between noon and 7 p.m. and she urged drivers to be careful during their weekend travels.

"If people are finding themselves going in those directions, during the busiest time, try to just be cautious, please have some patience, have some water in the car, have some snacks, and just enjoy the last weekend of summer,” said Courtney.

Courtney said the MTA plans to suspend all construction projects during the holiday weekend to minimize difficulties for drivers.

"The safer you can be having all of your seatbelts buckled, just being attentive, not fidgeting with your GPS, it just prevents any chance of accidents as much as possible. Drive slow, follow any directional signs you see, just to make sure that you're staying safe."

Courtney said traffic is up 6.3 percent compared to the same time last year. She said the MTA had about 3 million more toll transactions so far this year, which allows the MTA to fund construction projects through toll revenue instead of having to request a bond, which can lead to higher toll fees.

Courtney said toll fees are not expected to change for at least another decade.

Drivers will receive a free 2017 Farmer's Almanac at the southbound York toll plaza starting at 10 a.m. on Monday.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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