Thousands of drivers expected to hit the road Wednesday to kick off July 4th holiday

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Recording-breaking numbers of drivers are expected to get a head start on their Fourth of July travel and hit the road Wednesday.

According to AAA, about 841,000 Coloradans are expected to travel via plane or car this holiday. That’s the most ever recorded over July 4th. Of that number, more than 670,000 are expected to travel by car.

“AAA, in collaboration with INRIX, predicts that drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Wednesday, July 3 – as commuters mix with holiday travelers,” stated a release from AAA.

Drivers should also expect to see more people on the roads on Sunday as many return home from their vacations.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said it would suspend all construction projects at noon Wednesday until Monday to help cut down on road congestion.

“The Colorado Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to anticipate heavier than normal traffic and to be prepared for longer drive times on mountain highways and other roads serving recreational destinations this week,” a CDOT release stated.

If you’re planning a road trip this holiday, AAA reminds drivers to check tires and tire pressure, top off oil and other fluids, including windshield cleaner, and make sure you have an emergency kit with snacks, water and a flashlight ready to go.

AAA said it expects to rescue about 367,000 people around the country who run into issues on the road.

In addition to more drivers expected to be traveling over the holiday, there will also be more law enforcement officers out patrolling the roads.

Starting Thursday, the Colorado Springs Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado State Patrol are expected to have more personnel out on the roads looking for drunk drivers.

“We will work together to find you, stop you and prosecute you to the fullest extent possible,” said CSP Sgt. Jason Jones.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said it’s received more funding for DUI enforcement than ever before.

“We have received three times the DUI grant than we have ever had and we are going to pour it into this weekend,” Sheriff Bill Elder said. “The sheriff’s office commitment is that there will be more people enforcing DUI enforcement over the holiday weekend than ever in the history of the sheriff’s office.”

According to CDOT, 304 drivers were arrested for driving drunk or high during the state’s Fourth of July enforcement last year.

The increased enforcement runs through July 8.

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