Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Traffic to Peak in SoCal on Wednesday Evening; Major Delays Anticipated

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Southern California motorists can expect worse than usual on traffic during rush-hour Wednesday as travelers head out of town amid stormy weather for the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

In general, the worst time to hit the road in the Los Angeles area will be from 5 to 7 p.m., according to AAA, which collaborated with traffic data company Inrix for the information.

During that time, drivers can expect their trip to take 3 ½ times longer.

The worst traffic in the area is predicted at about 6 p.m. on the eastbound 10 Freeway to the 5 Freeway interchange, where delays of more than five times normal are anticipated, according to AAA.

The southbound stretch of the 405 from Roscoe Blvd to the 110 Freeway is expected to experience peak congestion at 5:30 p.m., with trips taking about three times longer than usual.

The northbound 405 Freeway between the 110 and Roscoe Blvd will experience similar delays around the same time, according to AAA.

Other freeways expected to experience major traffic delays on Wednesday evening include the eastbound 10 from State Street in Los Angeles out to West Covina, and the eastbound 101 between State Route 23 and the 170 Freeway.

Inrix released its prediction for the worst traffic spots and times for Thanksgiving week in 2019. (Credit: Inrix via AAA)
Inrix released its prediction for the worst traffic spots and times for Thanksgiving week in 2019. (Credit: Inrix via AAA)

“We’re expecting heavy traffic on all of our major freeways in and out of the Los Angeles area," said AAA spokesman Doug Shupe.

He noted traffic will likely will be worse on roads that lead to San Diego, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Lake Tahoe -- all top travel destinations from Southern California for this weekend, according to AAA.

“So, we know routes to and from there areas will be very crowded today, as well as on Sunday and Monday," Shupe said.

A major storm forecast to bring heavy rain, snow and strong winds to the region will likely worsen traffic.

The California Highway Patrol warned that inclement weather can lead to road closures, including the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine, where meteorologists predict 3 to 6 inches of snow can fall starting Wednesday evening.

More than 55 million travelers are expected to take a trip of at least 50 miles or more during the long holiday weekend, according to AAA. That’s the second highest-volume since the Auto Club began tracking numbers in 2000, and is the most since 2005.

In Southern California, about 4.3 million are expected to travel this weekend, including 3.7 million going to their destinations by car.

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