High gas prices and traffic: Memorial Day weekend travel in WV

West Virginia

In this March 16, 2021 photo, a gas pump displays gas and diesel prices in Richmond, Va. Gasoline prices are at a seven-year high, Thursday, May 27, ahead of one of America’s busiest holiday travel weekends. But experts don’t expect steep prices to keep eager motorists off the road. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

TEAYS VALLEY, W.Va. (WOWK) — It’s considered the unofficial start to the summer travel season, and this year more than ever, people have travel on their minds.

“I’m from Ohio, and we are going to Myrtle Beach,” said Givanna Ferrel, an Ohio resident.

“We left at around three o’clock in the morning. That way she is sleeping and we uh yeah there’s less traffic,” said Melissa McDaniel, an Ohio resident.

With more than half of U.S. adults vaccinated and COVID-19 restrictions loosening, just getting out is on everybody’s mind.

“60% more people than last year during the pandemic. Only 23 million people traveled last year during the memorial day weekend,” said Lynda Lambert, AAA East Central representative.

AAA expects more than 37 million Americans to travel on Memorial Day weekend. Which is good for the West Virginia Parkways Authority.

“The tolls haven’t changed any. They’re the same. The funds that we collect go back into the road to maintain it and keep it clear,” said Tyrone Gore, with the West Virginia Parkways Authority.

But dealing with more people on the road may not be your only problem—gas prices have increased too.

“Because of the Colonial Pipeline shut down a couple of weeks ago, and the fact that there is all this pent-up demand for travel now, prices have definitely increased,” said Lambert.

The national average per gallon is up to $3.03, which is $1.12 higher than prices last year.

“The gas prices are scaring me. Especially traveling with two cars,” said Ferrel.

Currently, West Virginia’s average $2.99 a gallon is lower than the national price, which is a slight bonus for drivers.

“It didn’t go up as much as I thought it was going to go up this weekend so that was good,” said McDaniel.

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