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Holiday travel forecast: More Coloradans on the road, gas prices down slightly

Holiday Travel Denver
David Zalubowski
Motorists move slowly on Pena Boulevard as traffic increases with the approach of the Thanksgiving Day holiday Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at Denver International Airport.

Whether you are driving or flying this holiday season, here's what you can expect.

Christmas week is reported to be one of the higher travel periods in Colorado. As travelers get ready to spend time with friends and family for the holidays, there are a few things to take into consideration.

If you plan to drive, the Colorado Department of Transportation expects heavier than normal traffic for the next couple of weeks. The department advises drivers to be extra careful on the road and to stay sober behind the wheel, as “lives depend on it,” says CDOT executive director Shoshana Lew.

Traffic is expected to be heavy on I-70 West from Denver on Thursday, Dec. 23 and the days following Christmas. Eastbound I-70 is expected to have heavy traffic on Saturday, Jan. 1 and Sunday, Jan. 2. Over 60,000 vehicles were counted at the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel in the two days before the holidays last year. There will also be heavier traffic on roads along the Front Range before and after Christmas.

CDOT will suspend ongoing projects statewide on Dec. 23 and Dec. 30. Work will resume on Dec. 27 and Jan. 3.

At $3.25 per gallon, gas prices are down 10 cents per gallon since Thanksgiving, but still close to the highest national average recorded on Christmas, which was $3.26 per gallon in 2013. GasBuddy says there is still a chance for 2021 prices go above the 2013 record. However, we can expect prices to continue to decrease into the New Year.

For those flying, Denver International Airport is expecting more than 2.7 million passengers to go through their facilities until Jan. 3. Officials recommend checking your flight status before making your way to the airport, and getting there at least two hours before your flight's scheduled departure.

Make sure to check weather forecasts and road conditions for any updates.

As a general assignment reporter, I stay on top of what is happening in our community and in our state. I make sure that my community in Northern Colorado can understand the information that I am delivering. I also host Colorado Edition and love to connect with listeners with knowing that they are choosing our station for the latest news and weather conditions.