Labor Day Weekend Travelers to Hit Chicago-Area Roads, Airports

The Illinois Tollway Authority expects $7.2 million people traveling on the tollways over the weekend

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Thousands of people are expected to travel through Chicago-area airports over Labor Day Weekend. Lauren Petty reports.

    Millions of people are expected to hit the roads and the sky to travel for Labor Day weekend.

    The Chicago Department of Aviation expects more than 1.2 million passengers at O'Hare International Airport and Midway Airport between Friday and Tuesday.

    At O'Hare, officials project more than 950,000 passengers will travel over the holiday, a 5 percent increase compared to 2013. Friday is expected to be the busiest travel day with about 225,000 passengers.

    Midway also expects a 5 percent increase in passenger volume this year with nearly 320,000 passengers over the weekend and 74,000 Friday.

    "We are ready to provide the 'best in class' service to [passengers] and showcase all that our airports and our city have to offer,' CDA Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino said in a statement.

    Live entertainment is scheduled to take place on stages at both airports from 2-5 p.m. Friday and airport ambassadors at Midway Airport will offer complimentary lemonade to travelers throughout the weekend.

    For the many Chicagoans driving during the holiday weekend, there’s some bad news at city gas pumps.

    An explosion at a BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana has prompted an increase in gas prices ahead of the weekend and they’re expected to continue rising through next week.

    Gasbuddy.com predicts a three- to six-cent increase in prices by next week.

    BP America spokesman Scott Dean confirmed that the Whiting refinery experienced "an operational incident" at about 9 p.m. Wednesday on the refinery’s north end. The fire was out by 11 p.m. and an "all clear" was issued about 20 minutes later.

    AAA reports prices in Chicago sit at $3.62 per gallon as of Friday morning, an increase of 2 cents since Thursday.

    The national average is reported to be $3.43 per gallon.

    TripAdvisor.com predicts 44 percent of Chicago-area residents will travel for the holiday weekend, and 71 percent of those people will drive.

    The Illinois Tollway Authority expects $7.2 million people traveling on the tollways over the weekend, an increase from the last two years.

    Friday is expected to be the busiest day with about 1.8 million people on the tollway, 400,000 more than the average number of drivers.

    The Illinois Department of Transportation is suspending all road work for the holiday weekend and Illinois State Police is planning for extra patrols.

    Several travelers will also be flying for the holiday weekend travel.
    Nationwide, about 35 million people are expected to travel, a large increase from recent years where travel declined thanks to a recession.

    TripAdvisor.com reports that 30 percent of people will visit a city this weekend, 23 percent will go to a lake, and 16 percent will visit a beach or ocean.