Wisconsin roads packed with holiday travelers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin roads packed with holiday travelers

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) - Nearly 700,000 Wisconsinites are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA Travel. Experts estimate most of those travelers will be hitting the highway to get to their weekend destination.

That will make for a busy weekend for law enforcement as they try to keep the roads safe.

It's the holiday weekend so many people in central Wisconsin have been waiting for.

"Just enjoying the weather for a change. It's finally starting to warm up. Every chance we get, we like to get on our bikes and go for a ride," said Al Niewiadomski of Plover.

"We gotta get the boats in, my son's coming up. Going to meet my parents to do a little fishing and pontooning," said Jeff Cassey of Rib Mountain.

State Patrol officials expect more drivers on the roads this year because of the nice weather.

"We have every available trooper on duty over this holiday weekend. It is a busy time for us. We're expecting a lot of traffic out here this weekend with travelers starting their summer season," said Sgt. Travis Wanless.

It's these busy roads that are steering some drivers away from the main highways.

"Actually because of a lot of traffic on the main highways, we're riding around on the county chunks to stay out of the main traffic today, which is a little more scenic anyway for us," said Niewiadomski, as he took a break from riding his motorcycle with his son.

Whatever route they take, travelers will enjoy some relief at the pump.

"We're looking at far lower prices for this weekend than we did a year ago," said Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst with

DeHann said the average price for a gallon of gas in Wausau on Friday was $3.64. That's 32 cents cheaper than this time last year.

Regardless of the cost to get away, many travelers say it's worth it.

"This is the latest we've ever put it in. It was a tough winter so looking forward to some sun, definitely," said Cassey.

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