Tips for traveling this Thanksgiving weekend

Tips for negotiating Thanksgiving weekend travel

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Civil War game Saturday, the Woodburn Outlet Mall on Thursday evening and Black Friday are sure to cause backups on I-5, according to the Oregon State Police.

Welcome to Thanksgiving Day weekend.

The parking lots at Portland International Airport were filling up quickly Wednesday. AAA reports that gas prices nationally are at a three-year high but appear to be dipping for this holiday.

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The Oregon-Oregon State Civil War Game starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday and is expected to choke I-5 in the mid-Willamette Valley, OSP says, before and after the game.

The Woodburn Outlet Malls will slow down traffic both Thursday evening and Friday, according to OSP. Drivers will stay in the middle lane, slowing and trying to force their way onto the exit ramp. OSP promised that troopers will be "actively enforcing traffic laws."

Marie Dodds of AAA Oregon/Idaho says the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.53. In Oregon it is $2.85.

About 650,000 Oregonians will be hitting the road this weekend, she said.

Fortunately for those traveling over mountain passes, the snow levels will be quite high. KGW meteorologist Rod Hill reports snow levels Wednesday of 10,000 feet won't lower to 4,500 feet until Friday. Look for snow showers on the passes Sunday, he said.

Forecast

Traveling out of the Portland Airport? Consider taking MAX or arranging a drop-off. By Wednesday morning, the economy lots were 90 percent full. Nearly a quarter-million people will travel through PDX during the five day period through Sunday.

"We always advise to look at flypdx.com ahead of time, plan your strategy, see what your options are. We should have plenty of parking for everyone," said Kama Simonds, spokeswoman for the airport. 

Everything you need to know about PDX travel

KGW found a group of six travelers heading out early to the San Francisco bay area to visit a friend for Thanksgiving.

“We were up by 2:40 a.m. and texting each other and like, 'Are you awake are you at the airport are you leaving soon?' So it was a bit of a busy morning but we made it," said one of the travelers.

OSP offers the following driving tips:

  • Take extra time to reach your destination 
  • Visit ODOT's traveler page www.tripcheck.com 
  • Carry water, food, and blankets in the event you are stuck in your vehicle during your trip.
  • Get a designated driver if you plan on consuming intoxicating substances. 
  • Put the distractions away. Pull over to use that handheld electronic device, ask as passenger to help or wait to arrive at your destination to use them. 
  • Be extra vigilant in highway work zones. Even when workers are not present, all work zone speed limits still apply and fines double. 
  • Get rested before you travel. Fatigued drivers are more frequent during holiday weekends because of increased travel and activity. 

© 2017 KGW-TV


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