Travel experts expect decrease in travel

JACKSON, Tenn. — Travel officials say they expect a decrease in travel this summer.

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AAA shows numbers of people traveling this summer are down, but not out. Spokesperson Megan Cooper for AAA says this summer, they’re expecting a drop in travel for the first time in almost a decade to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the first decline in travel since 2009 and this year, we are forecasting Americans will take 700 million trips. According to economic indicators and states reopening due to COVID-19. We likely will see a decrease compared to last year,” said Cooper.

“The coronavirus has put a decline in traffic since march and we do a year to year traffic analysis from last year, this years time and the farther we get into the summer the more the increase traffic,” said public information officer for TDOT, Nichole Lawrence.

As families get ready for one of the first trips of summer, TDOT says construction will stop from 6 a.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Monday, July.

TDOT commissioner Clay Bright says the coronavirus has impacted travel plans for many people this 4th of July holiday. Fewer drivers will be traveling through Tennessee and lane closures will be in place to make it a little safer and help you get to where you want to go safely.

“Tuesday, June 30 and Thursday, July 2, one lane northbound on Highland will be closed for crews to set bridge beams. That closure will take place from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday,” said Lawrence.

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AAA says the average gas prices in Tennessee have gone up six cents a gallon.

“One of the main contributing factors to that is we saw an increase in demand over the last week. When demand increases, that trickles down and translates into an increase at the pump prices,” said Cooper.

While lane closure activity will be stopped, workers may be on site in construction zones and reduced speed limits in work zones will still be in effect.

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