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Driver tips for Labor Day weekend, from gas prices to heavy traffic

Driver tips for Labor Day weekend, from gas prices to heavy traffic

TRI-CITIES, Wash. – The long weekend is finally here and for those of you traveling, planning ahead could be the key to smooth sailing.

This is a unique Labor Day weekend, in years past we've seen gas prices go down this time of year as summer comes to an end and as we switch over to the cheaper winter blend fuel.

But gas experts said this holiday weekend is different.

Last year was one of the cheapest gas prices for Labor Day weekends in 12 years, according to Gas Buddy.

"This year it's not the case because of Hurricane Harvey, there is a strain on supply across the nation because of where the hurricane hit," said Allison Mack, petroleum analyst for Gas Buddy.

Mack said the storm hit at the center of where oil gets refined into gasoline, driving up prices at the pump.

"So we've seen that price increase across the nation, including Washington, we've seen prices jump up six cents in a weeks’ time," Mack said.

But as folks are traveling, Mack said there are still ways you can save money.

"My advice to consumers and my advice to my mom even, is really shop around," she said.

When in an unfamiliar area and you're not sure which exit to take to get the best prices, she suggests using gas apps to compare real time prices and locations.

Speaking of gas, WSDOT Spokesperson Barbara LaBoe said you'll want to keep your tank full in case you run into any holiday congestion.

"This is one of our busiest travel weekends, so no matter where you’re traveling within the state you should expect to see heavier traffic than a normal weekend and you should plan ahead for that," LaBoe said.

For folks in the Tri-Cities heading to the coast, WSDOT said westbound travelers may experience stop-and-go traffic on I-90 on Sunday afternoon, and moderate to heavy traffic on US 2 Sunday afternoon.

WSDOT suggests drivers plan ahead to save time and frustration.

Plan ahead now for Labor Day travel by visiting WSDOT’s website.

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