If roads or airports seem busier than normal, it could be because 54.6 million people would travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA’s annual travel forecast.
This year is expected to be the third-busiest for Thanksgiving travel since AAA began tracking in 2000.
And while Arizona’s highways don’t top the list of busiest highways, travelers should be extra prepared for what might lie ahead. Here’s an ongoing list of traffic, weather, fuel prices and airport conditions you might encounter this bank holiday weekend.
Visit azcentral.com for updates through the weekend.
11:30 am Wednesday: I-10 reopens in Casa Grande
The Arizona Department of Public Safety has reopened westbound Interstate 10 near Casa Grande. Westbound lanes were closed all morning after a pickup truck crash near Milestone 186 killed a man, a young boy and a three-year-old girl.
11:20 am Wednesday: Weather forecast for Thanksgiving weekend
You don’t need to worry about the heat this Thanksgiving as the breezy and cool temperatures will continue into the weekend.
According to the National Weather Service in Phoenix, temperatures will hover around 70 degrees throughout the valley.
Phoenix National Weather Service meteorologist Marvin Percha said, “All weekend will be dry weather with high temperatures in Phoenix in the upper 60s to low 70s.”
Percha says the lowest temperatures will be in the low to mid 40s.
“Northeastern winds will be in parts of the metro during the day with gusts of 20 to 25 miles per hour on Thursday and light winds over the weekend,” Percha said.
Winds will hold up through Thursday afternoon, according to the weather service, so take precautions if you don’t want your Thanksgiving dinner to fly away.
– Ayana Hamilton
10 a.m. Wednesday: Groceries, shops and services at Phoenix Sky Harbor Terminals 3 and 4
If you are new to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport or have not been recently, navigating and familiarizing yourself with the restaurants, shops, and other services available can be overwhelming.
Here’s a look at some of the restaurants, shops, and services passengers can look forward to in Sky Harbor’s Terminal 3 and Terminal 4.
- Panera Bread: South Hall of Terminal 3
- Zinc Brasserie Grab and Go: Low A Gates in Terminal 4
- Mission Grab and Go: High B Gates in Terminal 4
- Nocawich Express Grab and Go: Low C Gates in Terminal 4
Here are stores that passengers can go to:
- Terminal 3 North Concourse: Discover Arizona, Stellar News & Market
- Terminal 3 South Concourse: Best of the Valley Markey, Sol Shades and Tech on the Go.
- Terminal 4 A Gates: Brooks Brothers, Arizona Highways and Trip Advisor
- Terminal 4 B Gates: Azcentral.com, Cactus Candy, and Sonora Southwest Living
- Terminal 4 C Gates: Connections, eSavvy, Tumi and Today
- Terminal 4D Gates: Cactus Candy, Indigenous and InMotion
Services that passengers can use:
- Delta Sky Club: Terminal 3 South Concourse
- USO Lounge for Military Members and Their Families: Terminal 4 Pre-Security
- American Airlines Admirals Club: Terminal 4 A Gates
- Three lounges, a pet area and a nursing station: Terminal 4 B Gates
- A Pet Facilitation Area: Terminal 4 C & D Gates
— Michael Salerno
8 a.m. Wednesday: Crash closes State Route 77 near Globe
The Arizona Department of Transportation said it had no estimate of when State Route 77 would reopen after it was closed by a previous accident near Globe.
7:30 am Wednesday: I-10 Westbound in Casa Grande closed
The Arizona Department of Transportation reported that Interstate 10 was closed near State Route 387 in Casa Grande due to a previous fatal accident. Traffic was diverted at McCartney Road.
6 p.m. Wednesday: No scheduled road closures for Thanksgiving weekend
Most Arizona drivers traveling for the Thanksgiving long weekend begin their trips on Wednesday, and fortunately for those looking to visit loved ones, no Arizona road closures are planned for the long weekend.
The Arizona Department of Transportation said no delays are expected between Wednesday afternoon and Monday morning due to Arizona highway closures.
That doesn’t mean that drivers don’t have to expect delays. According to the AAA, the worst times to travel by car are between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday, while the best times are before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. 11 a.m. and after 6 p.m
ADOT provided the following tips for drivers to keep in mind as they prepare for their long rides:
- Allow for extra travel time as accidents and other incidents can add traffic.
- Pack an emergency kit that includes: drinking water, snacks, flashlight, blankets, warm clothing, and first aid kit.
- Make sure your vehicle’s maintenance is up to date.
- Never drive if you are impaired.
- Get a good rest before driving.
- Wear your seat belt and obey speed limits.
- Slow down in existing workspaces.
- Check the weather conditions.
Find out about highway conditions by visiting az511.gov or by calling 511.
– Joanna Jacobo Rivera