BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Memorial Day weekend is here and that means the start of summer travel is here and roads will be packed.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said interstate travel can be compact with so many people on the road. So, it’s important to pack your patience, be alert, and be aware of other drivers.
State Trooper Justin O’Neal says people should expect heavier delays, especially on I-65. It’s important to give yourself extra time for a safe arrival.
“That is usually the main route people will take to go to the beach, so just expect those delays through there because the four-lane coming through Alabaster, when it drops to the two-lane, you’ve got that many more cars trying to merge over so just be prepared to slow down a little bit,” said Trooper O’Neal.
O’Neal said troopers will always be on patrol to help, but obeying basic traffic laws is imperative. Wear your seatbelt, watch your speed, don’t drink and drive, and give yourself plenty of distance from other cars.
“Especially on the interstate,” said Trooper O’Neal. “A lot of people don’t realize that following too close is one of the leading causes of crashes in our state. So, leave that distance between you and that car in front of you.”
Traffic will be heavy, but there’s plenty of pit stops along the way. Businesses along the interstate say they benefit big from foot traffic.
Peach Park is just off I-65 in Chilton County on your way to the lake and beach.
Owner Mark Gray said they’ve got a full weekend ahead with special sales and live music on their deck.
Gray said their peach products are popular with the crowds, offering homemade sweet treats like peach ice cream, cobblers, and fried pies.
“We just want them to have a good time,” said Gray. “We want them to be able to get out and walk around, stretch their legs if they’re headed to the beach. You know, we just like to be a good pit stop for them and feed them good, get them good and sleepy so when they hit the interstate, except for the driver. They can rest until they get on down to the beach.”