September 2, 2011

Labor Day weekend traffic forecast

The Associated Press

PORTLAND — The Maine Turnpike is predicting a six percent drop in north- and southbound traffic at its gateway plaza during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Still, more than 228,000 vehicles are expected to pass through the York Toll Plaza from Friday through Monday.

The turnpike cites figures from the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Southern Maine, which projects that overall traffic will total 228,700 vehicles from Friday through Monday. That's a 6 percent decline from 243,300 vehicles in 2010.

The center's researchers say a weak economy this quarter, continued high gas prices and disruptions caused by Hurricane Irene are among the causes for the projected traffic decline.

Also, with Labor Day falling later than usual on the calendar, many schools have already opened.

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