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Traffic restrictions lifted to ease Memorial Day travel delays in Michigan

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(CBS DETROIT) — Memorial Day weekend is here, and the Michigan Department of Transportation is lifting some of the lane restrictions across the state to help ease traffic delays for travelers.

MDOT said it plans to lift just over half of the road and bridge projects starting at 3 p.m. Friday; in all, 85 of the 154 projects in the state will have lane restrictions removed this weekend. The restrictions will be lifted until 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

While operations will be stopped in some areas over the weekend, drivers are advised that equipment and traffic configurations, including shoulder closures and temporary shifts, will still be in place.

"With the record amount of road and bridge work happening all across the state thanks to increased federal infrastructure investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, as well as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Rebuilding Michigan program, it has never been more important for drivers to follow all posted signs and speed limits in work zones," said State Transportation Director Brad Wieferich. "We understand the frustration construction can cause but we implore all drivers to follow the law, be patient, and help make sure everyone, including themselves, their passengers, and road workers, all make it home each and every night." 

Nearly 1.3 million Michiganders will travel over Memorial Day weekend

This year, almost 1.3 million Michigan residents are expected to travel 50 miles or more during Memorial Day weekend. This is expected to be the second-highest-traveled Memorial Day weekend in Michigan and nationally. 

Almost 43.8 million people are expected to travel for the holiday. This forecast falls slightly behind the 44 million people who traveled in 2005, which is the highest record since AAA started tracking the data in 2005. 

"Memorial Day will be the start to a very busy summer of travel," said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA - The Auto Club Group. "American travelers are forecast to surpass pre-pandemic levels, making this the busiest Memorial Day holiday weekend in nearly two decades. The main driver of the projection is strong consumer interest in traveling both domestically and abroad. Interest in traveling internationally is at the highest level in recent years." 

Lifting just over half of the state's traffic restrictions will help alleviate congestion over the weekend. 

However, drivers should still be aware of the construction zones in certain areas over the weekend.

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