Traffic on the West Virginia Turnpike over the 2021 Fourth of July holiday season was the heaviest it’s been since 2010.
“It was a huge Fourth of July period,” said Jeff Miller, executive director of the West Virginia Parkways Authority. “People are just ready to get out and travel.”
Between Thursday, July 1, 2021 and Monday, July 5, the Turnpike saw 668,004 vehicles pass through Turnpike toll booths. Since the Fourth of July falls on different days of the week, Parkways typically looks at the five days surrounding the holiday in determining traffic counts.
“The fourth fell on a weekend, and a lot of people had Monday off,” Miller said. Despite the Fourth falling on a Saturday last year, overall travel numbers for the five-day holiday travel period were more than 28 percent higher than for July 4, 2020.
“Last year’s travel was severely affected by the pandemic,” Miller said.
Miller said many travelers went on vacation the weekend before the Fourth of July, and came home the weekend after. Between Sunday, June 27 and Monday, July 5, more than 1.12 million vehicles used the Turnpike.
With such high traffic volumes, travelers only experienced scattered, minor delays, Miller said. Parkways officials posted flaggers in toll areas to help direct traffic, put on extra shifts, and coordinated with West Virginia State Police and the state Courtesy Patrol to provide the safest, fastest experience possible.
“Everyone was ready for it,” Miller said. “We didn’t really have any significant backups.”