SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Whether flying or driving, Utahns heading out for the long Labor Day holiday should expect delays.
Due to the pandemic, experts say the preferred method of travel for Labor Day this year is by car.
“At about one or two we expect traffic to be building up,” John Gleason with Utah Department of Transportation says. “Know what you are getting into and if you can travel earlier on in the day.”
UDOT says typically north bound I-15 in Davis and Weber counties is a heavily traffic area due to construction on the express lane. Motorists should expect the lane to split and construction crews on roadways.
“That is where we are anticipating where we will see up to 20 minutes of delay Friday afternoon,” Gleason explains. “If you add a couple of fender benders or crashes that stall traffic that could be the x factor.”
A survey from cars.com com shows nationwide 20% of all Labor Day travelers canceled their flights to drive instead.
The Salt Lake International airport is estimating 25,000 passengers will arrive in Salt Lake Friday which is near pre-pandemic levels.
“That is a concern,” says Charla Haley with the Utah Department of Health. “The more you travel, the more likely you are to come in contact with someone who is positive and may not know it.”
The Labor Day holiday marks the end of Utah’s 100 Days. It’s the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day when deaths on Utah roadways increase, last year there was nearly one death per day.
“Looking at it right now it appears we have been right in line with where we have been last ten year average,” Gleason explains.
Airport travel slows down over the weekend and picks back up on Monday. Although travel numbers being back to pre-pandemic levels, the travel and tourism industry are still scrambling to make up lost revenue.