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Labor Day Weekend Travel Increase

August 29, 2014, 6:15 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Labor Day Weekend Travel Increase
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

It's going to be a busy weekend on roads across the state. According to AAA, over 75,000 South Dakotans will be traveling this Labor Day weekend. We talked to travelers about what they've seen out on the highway.

Labor Day weekend is often considered the last chance for families to take a summer trip before school starts. Even though AAA is predicting a 1.3-percent increase this year, drivers we talked to haven't seen the jump in traffic.

"Yeah, it's been relatively light traffic actually for what I thought would be the Friday before a weekend like this. It's been pretty easy going," Rick Stuebs, who is traveling from Wisconsin, said. 

On top of smooth traffic, Stuebs says gas prices are also making the trip a little easier.

In South Dakota, prices have dropped from $3.69 last year to $3.47 this year.

"Gas prices were a little bit lower here than back in Wisconsin. We have like $3.45 back in Wisconsin; they were like $3.35 here when we got to Minnesota," Stuebs said. 

"With gas prices being what they are, we figured it would be very busy. But maybe as the weekend gets closer and the weather clears, we'll have more activity," Jim Gallie, who is traveling from Michigan, said.

Gallie is traveling to the Black Hills with his wife, Loretta. He says he's also shocked by the lack of traffic in South Dakota.

"We noticed that the traffic around the metro area of Chicago was the usual rat race. But as we got further to the west, we didn't see a lot of campers on the road as compared to normal," Gallie said. 

If traffic does pick up as expected, Highway Patrol Troopers want everyone to remember to be on alert and treat all vehicles with the same respect on the road.

"Just make sure, it doesn't matter if you're driving a camper or a car, make sure you plan ahead," South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Kristoff DeKramer said.

It's not just road trips that are expected to be up this year.  AAA also predicts a three percent increase in South Dakotans flying this year over last.

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