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Memorial Day weekend travel in Ohio: What you need to know

According to the AAA, 1.36 million Ohioans will hit the road this weekend.

CLEVELAND — After a record low year for holiday travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials at the Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and AAA are preparing for a big rebound of road trips during Memorial Day Weekend. 

This year, AAA is predicting a 57% increase in the number of Ohioans traveling this Memorial Day weekend and a 52% increase in the number of Ohioans taking holiday road trips. Between Thursday, May 27 and Monday, May 31, AAA predicts more than 1.7 million Ohioans will travel at least 50 miles from home. More than 95% of these travelers will drive to their destinations.

So what do you need to know before you head out on the roads? We've put together a guide to help!

Holiday Gas Prices

Prepare yourself! AAA reports that gas prices during Memorial Day weekend will be at their highest cost since 2014. The average price for gasoline across Northeast Ohio is eight cents higher this week at $2.941 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. 

Click here for AAA's list of current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide.

Learn more about AAA's preparations for Memorial Day weekend with spokesperson Kimberly Schwind in the video below:

Construction

With the increase in travel on Ohio roads, ODOT says it will work to reduce the size of work zones and remove as many lane closures as possible for the upcoming holiday weekend.

“We want everyone to reach their destination and return home safely. It is so important to focus on the road, the signage, and obey the speed limit, especially in work zones,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

Visit OHGO.com to see real-time traffic conditions, more than 800 live traffic cameras, and construction project locations.

Learn more about ODOT's Memorial Day weekend plans with Matt Bruning below:

Buckle Up

As part of the Click it or Ticket campaign and the 6-State Trooper Project, safety belt usage will be a primary focus of the Ohio State Highway Patrol during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Last year in Ohio, 20 people were killed in fatal crashes over the holiday weekend. Of those fatalities in which a safety belt was available, 50% were unbelted. 

Additionally, the Patrol will be focusing on impaired driving. During last year’s holiday weekend, 10 of the 20 fatal crashes involved impairment. Over the course of the weekend, troopers will be highly visible on Ohio’s roadways encouraging drivers to wear their safety belts and to drive sober.

You can learn more about the OSHP's preparations for Memorial Day weekend with Sgt. Nathan Dennis below:

Weather Forecast

According to the 3News Weather team, expect to see some cooler, refreshing air as we head into the weekend. That cool air will be accompanied by a chance of rain during the first part of the holiday weekend.

FRIDAY: Rainy, much cooler. Upper 50s.

SATURDAY: Cool with showers. Low 60s.

SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 70s.

MONDAY: Partly cloudy. Warmer. Mid 70s.

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Editor's Note: The below video is from a previously published story