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Maine Turnpike Authority predicts 'about flat' growth in drivers this weekend compared to last year

Memorial Day Traffic Maine
Robert F. Bukaty
AP file
A motorist pulling a camper and carrying kayaks and bikes travels on the Maine Turnpike, Friday, May 28, 2021, in Kennebunk, Maine.

Friday marks the start of the holiday weekend, as far as the Maine Turnpike Authority is concerned. Spokesperson Erin Courtney says the Maine Turnpike is expected to process just about a million transactions during this Independence Day weekend.

"And how that compares to last year; it's about flat. We're looking at just a little under a percent of growth,” Courtney says.

After seeing a decline in traffic this Memorial Day weekend compared to last year, the Turnpike Authority is making a conservative estimate.

Courtney says high gas prices may deter some drivers, but other factors, especially the weather, will likely encourage some people to travel. She points out temperatures in Boston on Friday are expected to reach the 90s, which usually convinces folks to head north for some relief.

While construction work will be suspended from Friday through Monday, Courtney says drivers should watch out for the possibility of stop-and-go traffic jams, especially northbound Friday afternoon and southbound on Monday.