Turnpike travel down over Labor Day weekend
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Traffic on the West Virginia Turnpike for the Labor Day holiday weekend was off nearly 2 percent from the same four-day weekend in 2011, state Parkways Authority General Manager Greg Barr said Wednesday.
From Friday through Monday, the Turnpike handled 413,405 toll transactions, down from 420,861 during the 2011 holiday.
Barr said the threat of bad weather from the remnants of Hurricane Isaac and a spike in gasoline prices may have reduced holiday travel, because overall traffic on the Turnpike is up 2.7 percent for 2012, and was up nearly 4 percent for the month of August.
Barr noted that forecasts going into the Labor Day weekend called for heavy rain and storms throughout West Virginia and the region, which may have affected travel plans, even though it turned out the weekend weather was not as bad as forecast.
Offshore oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico and refineries in Louisiana also shut down in advance of the hurricane, contributing to a 20-cent a gallon spike in gasoline prices.
"It might have impacted people's travel plans a little bit," Barr said. "The good thing is, in the long term, we're doing better than last year by about 3 percent."