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W.Va. Turnpike traffic up 8 percent from last Thanksgiving

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Thanksgiving holiday traffic on the West Virginia Turnpike jumped 8 percent from 2013, but the director of tolls for the state Parkways Authority said it’s too early to say whether that marks an upward trend in traffic on the toll road.

“This year, we’re up 8 percent, but down somewhat compared to 2012, 2011, and 2010,” Steve Maynard said Monday.

During the six-day holiday travel period, from Tuesday through Sunday, the Turnpike handled a total of 721,935 toll transactions, up from 668,160 transactions during the same period in 2013.

However, Maynard noted Thanksgiving 2014 was still below 723,981 transactions in 2012, 735,067 transactions in 2011 and 746,928 transactions in 2010.

He said it’s possible a 2013 Thanksgiving eve forecast that called for a major winter storm to hit Raleigh, Fayette and Mercer counties put a damper on Turnpike travel plans that year.

While predictions for 8 inches or more of snowfall in the region never materialized, there were only about 123,000 toll transactions that Wednesday, down more than 25,500 transactions compared to this Thanksgiving eve.

As always, Sunday was the busiest travel day…

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