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Holiday traffic exceeds predictions on West Virginia Turnpike

CHARLESTON, WV – It was a busy holiday season along the West Virginia Turnpike. The West Virginia Parkways Authority says there were 1,375,777 transactions during the 13-day holiday travel period from Thursday, December 21, 2023, through Tuesday, January 2, 2024. This number is 45,777 transactions more than the pre-holiday travel estimate of 1.33 million transactions.

The busiest travel day on the West Virginia Turnpike was Friday, December 22, 2023, with 145,870 transactions. The lightest travel day was Sunday, December 24, 2023, with 54,838 transactions.

Turnpike traffic exceeded estimates every day of the holiday travel season except Christmas Eve; Saturday, December 30; and New Years Eve, 2023.

“Ultimately, we are very pleased with how our staff handled the large influx of traffic and we were very well prepared,” said Jeff Miller, Executive Director of the West Virginia Parkways Authority. “Our estimates were right in line with historical information that was reviewed prior to going into the holiday break.”

The Parkways Authority anticipated there would be additional travelers on the Turnpike from Tuesday, December 26, 2023, through Thursday, December 28, 2023, due to people traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. The college football game on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, featured the West Virginia University Mountaineers and University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

Miller is pleased with how everything played out during the 13-day holiday travel period.

“The weather cooperated for the most part and we did not experience many wrecks or significant backups at the toll facilities,” he said. “I am very proud of our toll operations, maintenance staff, courtesy patrol, West Virginia State Police Troop 7 and dispatch center for responding quickly to anything that required our attention during this time.”

Miller reminds drivers that E-Z Pass is the fastest and most economical way to travel on the West Virginia Turnpike.

Gov. Jim Justice announced the E-Z Pass Single Fee plan in 2018 to help drivers save on the cost of tolls. All lanes at the Turnpike’s three toll plazas accept E-Z Pass. The Single Fee discount program costs $26.25 annually for unlimited use of the West Virginia Turnpike.

To get an E-ZPass, or to renew an existing E-ZPass, click HERE. Drivers may also apply in person at the West Virginia Parkways Authority E-ZPass Customer Service Center, 3310 Piedmont Road, Charleston, West Virginia 25306, or at the Beckley Customer Service Center located at 12 Pikeview Drive, Beckley, West Virginia 25801.

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