Drivers take to the road for Labor Day weekend

Local News

BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) – Summer’s last hurrah is here, Labor Day weekend. That means families will be taking to the roads to get in one final vacation before settling into fall and dreaded winter.

William and Diane McDermott are planning to travel to their cabin in Wisconsin to celebrate Labor Day. It’s become a family tradition.

“We’ve had this cabin for about 35 years, and every summer we have several occasions where everybody comes up,” said the McDermott’s.

Cindy and Tom Klimmeck are also headed to Wisconsin for the long weekend. Their trip has already started.

“We started in Chicago. We are now in Belvidere and we are heading to Wausau for some very dear friend’s daughters’ wedding this weekend,” said the Klimmeck’s.

Labor Day weekend is a popular time for travelers across the state. According to Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, almost 2 million vehicles are expected to take to the interstates Friday. That’s about a 25% increase over an average day. To prepare for the holiday weekend, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced Thursday that lanes, that have been closed for construction, will reopen where possible. It’s welcome news for travelers.

“So far, we have not run into any construction,” said the Klimmeck’s. “It’s delightful. It’s a breath of fresh air.”

“That’s nice,” said the McDermott’s. “Because we don’t have the slowdowns we have every other weekend when we come up.”

Another bonus for driver, gas prices. Predictions from tech company GasBuddy show the national average price for a gallon of gas this Labor Day will be $2.55, down nearly 30 cents from last year.

“We don’t notice it much, but we’re thrilled to have a few extra dollars to spend money on Starbucks coffee,” said the Klimmeck’s.

Extra law enforcement will be out during the holiday weekend. Illinois State Police say they’re focused on speeding, distracted driving, and seat belt use. Spotting drivers under the influence is also a priority.

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