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4th of July weekend is expected to be a busy travel holiday

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 6:03 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The fourth of July weekend is here and drivers are hitting the road this holiday weekend.

This is expected to be the second busiest Independence Day travel weekend on record since 2019.

Drivers headed across the Mississippi River have one less bridge this weekend as repairs continue on the I-40 bridge.

“We’re coming from Lexington, Kentucky and we’re going to the Grand Canyon,” said Jeremiah Pope.

According to AAA more than 47 million Americans will travel and 91 percent will drive to their destination.

“I’m okay with traffic, getting there safely is much better than sitting,” Pope said.

Families like the Popes who are passing through Memphis are dealing with additional traffic caused by the I-40 bridge closure.

“The hardest has been trying to navigate downtown Memphis because we don’t fit under all the overpasses,” Pope said.

Many anxious to get back out as things reopen. The Pope’s say they rescheduled their plans which were canceled due to COVID-19.

“We actually planned this trip two years ago before COVID,” Pope said.

TDOT estimates 939,000 motorists will travel Tennessee interstates and state routes. To help travelers TDOT has paused road construction.

“At 6 a.m. this morning running through Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. you know we’ve halted all of our temporary lane closures,” TDOT spokesperson Nichole Lawrence said.

Lawrence says during the Memorial Day weekend they saw an 8% increase in traffic and expect the same for this holiday, but, all this holiday traffic is making it a nightmare for truck drivers who have to travel back and forth on I-55.

“So when I went over there it was a piece of cake, but on the way back it was around 3 o’clock I didn’t set foot in Memphis until around 6,” truck driver Zach Aldridge said.

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