▶️ Driving Highway 97 could take twice as long this holiday weekend, AAA says

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Some 47 million Americans will travel over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, according to AAA. That includes 441,000 Oregonians. And that means expect it to take quite a bit longer to get where you are going.

The organization also says car travel will set a new record this year for the Fourth of July.  The number of travelers will surpass that of pre-pandemic years. 

“Central Oregon, Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Madras can expect heavy traffic throughout the long holiday weekend,” said Marie Dodds, Director of Government and Public Affairs, AAA.

We went to downtown Bend and talked to people about their plans and how gas prices are impacting them.

“We’re going to Southern Oregon, Medford area, with some friends,” said Vicki Roadman of Bend. “It’s worth it.”

RELATED: Redmond Airport mostly avoids delays, cancellations ahead of July 4

While Vicki has a destination in mind, Tom Brewer, an Ontario resident, is just excited to get on the road.

“Our plans for Fourth of July, we’re not sure what we’re going to do, but we’re traveling around a little bit regardless of the gas prices,” Brewer said.

Mark Tyson said he traveled from Seattle to California, but couldn’t stand filling his tank in the Golden State anymore.

“California gas prices were horrendous. So we came back over the border to Oregon,” said Tyson

Olivia Cafiero and Jessica Miller said they are staying local in Central Oregon.

“I paid $90 for a fill up the other day. That’s the most I’ve ever paid since I’ve owned a car,” said Cafiero.

“I’m paying twice as much as I usually would to fill my tank. Where it would usually be 35 it was 75 last week,” said Miller.

If you also plan on staying in Central Oregon, AAA says traffic is going to be tough.

“Highway 97 a regular trip could take you twice as long,” said Dodds.

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