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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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Published: Friday, 5/23/2014 - Updated: 5 months ago

Holiday weekend calls for travel, work

Everyone can take advantage of forecasted warm weather

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Ray Elieff fills up gas cans in preparation for how he will spend his Memorial Day weekend: cutting his grass. Ray Elieff fills up gas cans in preparation for how he will spend his Memorial Day weekend: cutting his grass.
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While improving economic conditions are expected to boost travel nationwide for Memorial Day weekend, Duke Opp has work to do.

“Everything’s in the ground, but I’ve got to put the equipment away, work on the tractor, that kind of stuff,” the farmer from the Hancock County village of Rawson, Ohio, said Thursday while buying gasoline at the Pilot Travel Center in Lake Township. “Hopefully, the weather’s going to be nice.”

Weather forecasts on Thursday were favorable for farm work and travel through Monday if not later, and those who hit the road should also benefit from many highway authorities’ decisions to suspend as many work zones as possible for the holiday.

But gasoline prices rose Wednesday, at least in the Toledo area, so those who waited until today to fill up will pay a bit more than they would have earlier this week.

“That’s every holiday — the price of gas goes up,” P.J. McKibben of Northwood said Thursday after pulling into a Circle K station on Woodville Road.

Following two days of humid and sometimes stormy weather, skies cleared out Thursday across northwest Ohio and southwest Michigan.

Forecasters said mostly sunny skies and mid-70s highs were likely to persist through Sunday before a warm-up on Memorial Day.

The American Automobile Association said its pre-holiday survey indicates about 36.1 million will travel more than 50 miles from home this weekend, a 1.5 percent increase over last year.

The vast majority — about 31.8 million — will make those trips by private vehicle, but travel by air, train, bus, and cruise ship also is expected to grow for the holiday.

“The winter blues appear to have given Americans the travel bug and a case of cruise-cabin fever, as travel for the holiday is expected to hit a new post-recession high,” said April Cochran, vice president of membership, marketing, and public affairs for AAA Northwest Ohio.

Karl Zuber talks about his plans for Memorial day weekend. Karl Zuber talks about his plans for Memorial day weekend.
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Aric Sutphin of South Toledo plans to spend the long weekend in Put-in-Bay, Ohio.

“It’s my first time ever going there. It’s going to be perfect,” Mr. Sutphin said before adding cautiously that the weather might be a bit colder on the Lake Erie islands than on the mainland.

But for Ray Elieff, a Suder Avenue resident who filled up cans at the Sunoco station on Suder at Ottawa River Road on Thursday, this weekend will be mostly about working in the garden and cutting the grass.

“I got an acre of grass to cut. It takes a lot of gas,” he said.

Between Tuesday and Thursday, the average retail price for self-service regular gas in Toledo rose from $3.62 per gallon to $3.85, according to toledoblade.com/​gas, which lists prices reported by volunteer spotters.

That put the Toledo area about 22 cents higher per gallon than the national average, and about 8 cents higher than the same date last year.

The Ohio and Michigan transportation departments and the Ohio Turnpike announced plans to suspend most construction-related lane closings today through Monday, but some detours and delays will remain.

An Ottawa County project to stabilize an old gypsum mine beneath State Rt. 2 was buttoned up for the summer on Wednesday. But in Huron County, U.S. 250 and State Rt. 162 are closed near Fitchville, Ohio, for a bridge project.

On the turnpike, one of three lanes is closed in each direction for five miles between the Bellevue and Fremont interchanges, and there’s other work farther east.

But a resurfacing zone in eastern Fulton County will be picked up for the weekend thanks to a well-timed need to shift the traffic pattern in the work area.

Construction on the Fulton County project, which affects about six miles between the Swanton and Delta interchanges, will resume Tuesday and continue through June 21, said Adam Greenslade, the turnpike’s director of governmental affairs.

Contact David Patch at: dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.



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