Travelers walk through the Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Aug. 2, 2022. Airport officials are bracing for about 30,000 passengers to come through their doors Wednesday and Sunday this Thanksgiving weekend.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
This holiday season figures to be “one of the busiest in recent history,” as air and ground travel begins to return to levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to AAA.
The association published its annual holiday travel outlook last week, projecting 55 million Americans will either fly or drive to a Thanksgiving destination this year. That includes 49 million traveling by car and about another 4.5 million flying for the holiday. If the outlook comes to fruition, it would be a 1.5% increase from last year and about 98% of 2019 holiday travel numbers.
“The upcoming holiday is projected to be one of the busiest for travel in the past two decades,” said Brian Ng, the senior vice president of membership and travel marketing for AAA Utah, in a statement.
Wednesday figures to be the busiest day on the roads in Utah and across the U.S. And while a small storm is forecast to pass through Utah Wednesday morning, the weather is not expected to factor heavily into Utah travel this week.
UDOT predicts heavy traffic Wednesday, Sunday
The Utah Department of Transportation projects Wednesday afternoon and early evening to be the busiest time for travel, especially on I-15. Drivers should expect:
Delays of up to 15 minutes on southbound I-15 in Salt Lake County from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Delays of up to 10 minutes on northbound I-15 in Davis County from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Delays of up to 10 minutes on southbound I-15 near Nephi from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Though post-Thanksgiving travel is expected to be spread out over the ensuing long weekend, UDOT also projects delays of up to 20 minutes near Cedar City on northbound I-15 from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Black Friday shopping may also result in busy streets, especially near malls and retail centers, the agency advises.
UDOT spokesman John Gleason said the agency will suspend all of its construction work to open up as many lanes as possible, as has been the case for other major travel holidays. However, there are some traces of construction work that may impact some lanes.
I-80 and I-215 in eastern Salt Lake County: Lanes are shifted between 1300 East and 2300 East on I-80 and between 3300 South and 4500 South on I-215 because of the ongoing project to improve the road surface for both freeways.
I-80 near the I-84 interchange: Westbound I-80 is reduced to one lane near Echo Reservoir because crews are replacing the driving surface on the bridges over Echo Dam Road. The project will continue into early December before it pauses for the winter, according to UDOT.
I-70 near the I-15 interchange: The freeway is reduced to one lane in both directions between Cove Fort and the I-15 interchange because crews are replacing the …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News
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