Mass. travelers gear up for heavy holiday traffic

NATICK, MASS. (WHDH) - People driving through Massachusetts over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are trying to plan ahead to avoid heavy holiday traffic.

Traffic was backed up on I-93 most of Tuesday and AAA is forecasting record-breaking numbers of people in Massachusetts will travel this season. The agency predicts 2.5 million travelers, with 2.2 million heading out by car.

The state Department of Transportation says drivers should check real-time traffic reports and weather forecasts, and some drivers on Christmas Eve said they had strategies for navigating the traffic.

“We’re coming from Franklin, Mass. going to Melrose and we’ve been caught in it multiple times,” said Steven Donnelly. “So this year the whole point was ‘Let’s get on the Pike early, get on 95 and get past Boston as quick as we can.’”

Don Clair, who was traveling from Syracuse, said he had had an easy drive so far to an important destination.

“I’m just heading in, I’m a new grandfather – 12:30 last night!” Clair said.

But the busiest travel day will likely come after Christmas — AAA expects delays will be one and a half times longer than usual on Thursday, as people returning from holiday trips mix with regular commuters.

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