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3 Million Texans Expected To Travel For Memorial Day Weekend

A TPR file photo from 2017 shows congested traffic on U.S. 281 North.
Chris Eudaily
Texas Public Radio
A TPR file photo from 2017 shows congested traffic on U.S. 281 North.

The American Automobile Association reports nearly 3 million Texans will hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, an increase of 60% over the same holiday last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 93% off all travel this weekend will be by vehicle. AAA officials report the average price of a gallon of regular unleased is $2.73 or more than $1 higher than last year.

"Gas prices will not deter motorists this holiday season as millions of Texans are excited to take a road trip again," said Daniel Armbruster, AAA spokesperson. "Fuel prices in Texas are similar to those seen on Memorial Day in 2018."

He said gas prices are up due to high demand and there have been a instances where some stations are seeing low to no supply for a few days due to delayed deliveries, especially at more popular travel destinations, such as beaches and mountain areas.

Armbrister said average gas prices vary among large Texas metro areas vary by a few pennies.

"The most expensive metro areas as far as large metro areas would be in the Dallas area. That's going to be $2.82 a gallon. If you're going down Interstate 35, Austin, you're going to be paying about $2.68. San Antonio, which is the cheapest of the major metros, at $2.64," he said.

Armbruster said Houston is close to San Antonio for gas prices at $2.66 a gallon.

He said a couple of Texas freeways will be very busy especially late Friday afternoon and early evening as Texans hit the road for the long weekend. He said to expected higher than usual congestion on I-35 between San Antonio and Dallas and on I-69 East and I-610 to I-10, both in Houston, he said expect traffic three times heavier than usual late Friday.

AAA urged Texans to inspect their vehicles for mechanical wear and tear before leaving home. It expects to come to the rescue of at least 19,000 Texas motorists during the holiday. It's also good to have a emergency roadside kit.

AAA said roadside assistance can be reached by text or phone at 1-800-AAA-HELP.

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Copyright 2021 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.

Brian Kirkpatrick has been a journalist in Texas most of his life, covering San Antonio news since 1993, including the deadly October 1998 flooding, the arrival of the Toyota plant in 2003, and the base closure and realignments in 2005.