Holiday Traffic Starting to Pile Up in Luzerne County

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INTERSTATE 81, LUZERNE COUNTY -- Drivers all across the region are getting ready to make their trek back home for the Easter holiday -- and often times, that means traffic troubles for those on the roads.

Newswatch 16 has had crews along major thoroughfares in the Luzerne County corridor, and it's looking like this Easter commute may not be as bad as some are expecting.

PennDOT decided to suspend most roadwork projects for the weekend, cutting travelers a break.

"It's funny, because in New York they did do a couple of lane closures and I'm like why are we doing construction on Good Friday?" said Neil Widrick, traveling from Syracuse, New York. "I'm thrilled that Pennsylvania at least has the insight to say there's going to be a lot of traffic. Let's just suspend it."

PennDOT officials told Newswatch 16 that about 60,000 drivers go through the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area on Interstate 81 every single day, and due to the holiday weekend that number is expected to skyrocket. Fortunately, drivers are reporting that so far, road and weather conditions have been great.

"The driving is quite good, it's busy but you don't get slowed down really, so you're going at just the regular speed but it's pretty good," said Helene Gibbens of Lake Placid, New York.

PennDOT officials also said the average Easter commute for most drivers in our area clocks in at just about an hour, but for some of these road warriors -- some of whom are spending over 8 hours in the passenger's seat -- they tell us that reading and audio books are a great way to pass the time.

"It's 8 hours, 500 miles, maybe, 600 miles my husband is saying!" said Jennifer Bokal of Endwell, New York.

And as always, state troopers said one of the best tips for making the Easter commute as safely and easily as possible is simple: put the cellphone down.

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