Researchers say Maine will see drop in holiday traffic

Posted June 30, 2011, at 5:05 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Declining gas prices aren’t enough to change predictions that fewer motorists will be using the Maine Turnpike over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The Maine Center for Business & Economic Research at the University of Southern Maine says turnpike traffic is projected to be down 5.4 percent at the York toll plaza. That means about 19,000 fewer vehicles will enter and exit Maine by I-95 from Friday through Monday.

The center’s Charles Colgan says a 20-cent drop in gas prices since Memorial Day isn’t enough to significantly alter traffic patterns.

He says further gas price declines later in the summer may mean that traffic volumes eventually will pick up and rebound close to 2010 levels.