8 things you need to know about travel this July Fourth weekend

  • Hit the road early Friday to avoid traffic delays as everyone makes the great escape for the Fourth of July long weekend.

    Hit the road early Friday to avoid traffic delays as everyone makes the great escape for the Fourth of July long weekend. Daily Herald File Photo

Updated 7/2/2016 7:32 AM

Love your fireworks? Great, but don't bring them in your luggage if you're boarding a plane this Independence Day holiday. Or ever.

That's one tip from the Transportation Security Administration as worker bees morph into vacationers this July Fourth weekend. Here are 7 other transportation-related suggestions to keep you moving over the long weekend.


• On Saturday and Sunday, Metra will hold the last train on the BNSF, Milwaukee North, Milwaukee West and all three Union Pacific lines until 1 a.m. Similarly, BNSF, Milwaukee North, Milwaukee West and UP North trains scheduled to leave around 10:30 p.m. July Fourth will be extended to 11 p.m. The UP Line is adding some extra trains on Independence Day. Details are on Metra's website.

• The tollway and IDOT will suspend most construction work over the holiday weekend.

• How much competition will you face on the road? Two million Illinoisans will drive somewhere on vacation this holiday weekend, a 1 percent uptick from 2015, AAA predicts.

• Gas prices will hover around $2.55 a gallon statewide, a big improvement from last year's averages of $3.

• Ginger ale is fine but no pale ale or alcohol of any kind on Metra for most of the weekend. The ban goes into effect after 7 p.m. Saturday.

• Air travel is expected to soar by 2.2 percent compared to 2015 and 104,000 fliers are expected at Illinois airports during the holiday.

• A June 19 TSA update on security lines reported 28-minute delays during peak times at O'Hare and 23 minutes at Midway international airports. With added security and thousands of travelers streaming into O'Hare and Midway, arrive at airports at least two hours in advance for domestic flights, the TSA advises.

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