What you can expect for Labor Day weekend travel

STEVENSVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Getting in one last weekend getaway of the summer could drive you crazy especially if your destination is the Eastern Shore and you have to go across the Bay Bridge.

Friday morning, Nikki Burdine reported from the parking lot of Hemmingway's Restaurant in Stevensville, Md. on the east side of the Bay Bridge with a preview of what you should expect if you're traveling this weekend.

AAA says the number of people taking a trip 50 miles or more away this year is up. It estimates more than 800,000 people in the D.C. area will be traveling --- most of them by car.

As you know, the best way to beat that traffic is to plan ahead. Get on the road before 10:00 Friday morning to avoid peak travel times or after 10:00 Friday night. The worst time to travel is between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. when you get off of work. If you're leaving, Saturday morning is the best time or after 7:00 at night.

There's also some good news: gas prices are down. They are the lowest they've been since 2010. Regular gas will average about $3.41 a gallon, about 18 cents cheaper than last year and 40 cents cheaper than 2012. So if you are traveling across the Bay Bridge Friday or this weekend to celebrate Labor Bay, it won't cost you as much but it might take you a little bit longer.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is suspending most of its road work and lifting lane closures on interstates from noon Friday until noon Sept. 2 to help ease travel.

AAA has some advice for spots to avoid on this coming Tuesday or Terrible Traffic Tuesday, when everyone heads back home or to work. The worst commute in the area is I-395 SB/I-95 SB from Franconia Rd/Exit 169 to Russell Road/Exit 148, according to AAA. "INRIX ranks it as the fourth worst corridor in the USA on its 2013 scorecard," says AAA in a press release on Friday.

AAA also suggests you avoid the Capital Beltway NB/Capital Beltway WB from Exit 27 to MD-97/Georgia Ave/Exit 31 during the morning rush hour Tuesday. AAA says " take a rain check on traveling along the 20.6 –mile- long stretch of the Capital Beltway EB/Capital Beltway NB from Braddock Rd/Exit 5 all the way to exit 34 at MD-355/Wisconsin Avenue during the afternoon and early evening rush hours. Avoid it at all costs Thursday evenings around 5 p.m.

The most congested routes in D.C. will be New York Avenue, Constitution Avenue, Independence Avenue, D.C. 295, I-395/695, Rhode Island Avenue, and Wisconsin Avenue, according to AAA and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT).

Traffic patterns at Columbus Circle in front of Union Station will also be chaotic, according to AAA. The "largest intermodal transportation center in the Washington metro region" will get worse when the Senate and House of Representatives return from the August recess on September 8, according to AAA.

AAA says drivers should also pack their patience if they plan to travel I-395 NB from VA-27 to VA-110, I-495 Inner Loop from VA-193 to the GW Parkway, and I-395 SB/SW Freeway from 4th Street to 12th Street.


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