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High gas prices, construction, Click It or Ticket on tap for drivers this weekend

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Wisconsin AAA reports that traffic should be slightly higher than last year with approximately 38.3 million people hitting the roads across the nation.

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In the Great Lakes region the group says around 5.7 million folks will be on the roads. The Great Lakes region includes Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio

"Memorial Day travel is a time-honored tradition, and most people won't be deterred by the higher gas prices," said Tom Frymark, AAA Wisconsin regional president.

Frymark added that families may travel closer to home or for fewer days because of the higher gas prices.

The group reports that the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is at $3.32 in the state, up around 43 cents over last year.

In Eau Claire, Green Bay and Madison the group reports gas prices at $3.40 a gallon. In Milwaukee the price is up to $3.49. In La Crosse the price is at $3.35 - the lowest price in the state.

To help keep motorists safe law enforcement agencies across the state will be participating in the nationwide Click It or Ticket program over the Memorial Day weekend.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says that officers will be patrolling in greater numbers and for longer hours to enforce traffic laws, especially the state's mandatory safety belt law.

"We estimate that every 1 percent increase in safety belt use in Wisconsin saves about six lives each year," said David Collins, Wisconsin State Patrol superintendent.

Travelers across the state will also have to watch out for construction zones and lane closures which may cause some backups.

DOT officials say that crews will be wrapping up work on road projects early in order to minimize impact on holiday traffic.

Most work will cease at noon Friday and won't resume again until 6 a.m. May 29.

However, there are several long-term road projects which will have some impact on this weekend's traffic.

"There are a number of long-term projects that will require lane shifts, lane width restrictions, and even a few detours, so we suggest that travelers allow a little extra time to get where they're going," said Don Miller, director of the DOT's bureau of project development .

The biggest problems along I-94 in the west-central region of the state will be on eastbound I-94 between mile markers 87 and 93. Basically, from Osseo to just south of Black River Falls.

In that area there will be one-lane traffic on both eastbound and westbound lanes.

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