Crowds Expected Across NC Roads, Airports This Holiday Weekend

Nov 27, 2019

File photo of traffic on I-40 in south Durham.
Credit Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

North Carolina's highways and airports will likely be crammed today as travelers make their way to Thanksgiving destinations. AAA Carolinas spokeswoman Tiffany Wright says she expects the number of people on the road to break records again this year.

"We expect we're going to see about 1.34 million North Carolinians hitting the road this Thanksgiving,” Wright said. “It's an increase of 2.8 percent from last year. Every year, we sound like a broken record. It just keeps getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger.”

Wright says the organization has been keeping track of Thanksgiving travel since 2000.

“When you look at the fact that we have an economy that's doing well, that's definitely fueling the travel, along with cheaper gas prices as well,” she said.

The average gas price in North Carolina is 10 cents cheaper than it was this time last year.  

Meanwhile, the state Department of Transportation is suspending construction projects to improve traffic flow.  And at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, officials say this Sunday could be the busiest day in the airport's history. There are 232 flights that day, with an estimated 54,000 people traveling to and from their destinations.