The Berkshire Eagle  reports that gas prices nationally could be be at their highest level on Thanksgiving in five years, according to some calculations, but that doesn't mean fewer state residents will be driving either to, from or through the Berkshires during this year's long holiday weekend.

More than 1.26 million Massachusetts residents are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home, with almost 1.1 million planning to drive — both records for the Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA.

Last week, GasBuddy predicted the national gas price on Thanksgiving would be $2.56 for a gallon of unleaded regular, a penny higher than last year. But on Monday, AAA listed this week's national average at $2.60 per gallon, two cents lower than last week, and three cents lower than at this time last year, according to that organization's figures.

In Massachusetts, the average gas price is slightly lower. The state price fell 2 cents last week to $2.49 per gallon, which was 10 cents below the national average, and remained at that level this week according to AAA Northeast.

Berkshire residents who plan to drive should leave early. Wednesday afternoon is expected to be the worst travel day regionally, with late afternoon/early evening trips in both the Boston and New York metro areas projected to take almost 3 1/2 times longer than usual. In Boston, the worst travel time is expected to be between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, and in New York between 5:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., according to AAA.

But motorists traveling through Massachusetts won't have to worry about construction delays — MassDOT shut down all scheduled construction activities on state highways Nov. 21, and they won't resume until 5 a.m. Dec. 2.



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