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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 04:07 PM ET, 11/23/2011

P.M. Getaway Update: Crowds on I-95, flight delays in the Northeast

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Thanksgiving travelers continue streaming out of town, heading to the region’s airports or hitting the road for the holiday. But congestion and flight delays could cause problems on Wednesday afternoon and evening.

If you’re still at work and staying in town, remember that there are lots of transit and transportation changes that begin on Wednesday and continue through Friday. If you’re in town but planning on leaving, make sure to read Dr. Gridlock’s getaway guide.

The Capital Weather Gang warns that there could still be some rain this afternoon and evening, which could cause delays.

After the jump, information on area roads, airports and delayed flights.

On the roads: There’s traffic where you would expect traffic on the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. In Virginia, there are heavy delays on I-95 South beginning in Newington and continuing far, far south. Westbound I-66 is jammed outside of the Beltway.

In Maryland, I-95 North is pretty crowded on both sides of Baltimore. I-270 North is slow north of the spur.

There are also very heavy delays on I-95 North in Delaware approaching Wilmington.

The F.A.A.’s flight delay map is still showing issues throughout the Northeast in Newark, LaGuardia and JFK airports in New York and Boston. There are also delays in San Francisco.

Crowds are flocking to Dulles International, Reagan National and Baltimore Washington International airports.

At Reagan National early on Wednesday afternoon, there was a lull after lunch before the main terminal began filling up with people who had left work early to catch flights.

The lunchtime crowd at Sam and Harry’s, located next to the security line in Terminal C, was lighter than on a normal Wednesday, said Nick Ryan, the executive chef.

A Transportation Security Admnistration official at National said it felt like a normal day with lots of “ebb and flow.”

Security lines were moving smoothly at National and Dulles, said Rob Yingling, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates both airports.

It was busy during the morning and afternoon at BWI Airport, where things also went smoothly, said Jonathan Dean, an airport spokesman. The airport is expecting about 72,000 departing and arriving passengers.

Dean did have a warning for anyone heading to BWI to pick up passengers arriving this afternoon and evening. In the morning, they see mostly outbound travelers, but in the afternoon and evening it will be mostly arrivals. That means a lot of traffic on the airport’s roadways.

Drivers should use the cell phone lot or park in the hourly garage, he said. Another tip: Meet arriving passengers on the upper level, where departures normally go, rather than the lower level.

And if you’re flying on AirTran but haven’t been to BWI since the summer, the airline moved to a different terminal at the airport.

Before you head to the airport, check with your airline to make sure everything is running on time.

Here are some resources:

Airlines

Airlines serving BWI
Airlines serving Dulles
Airlines serving Reagan National
The FAA's Flight Delay map

Airline advisories
AirTran Airways
American Airlines
Continental Airlines
Delta Airlines
Frontier Airlines
JetBlue
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines
US Airways
Virgin America

By  |  04:07 PM ET, 11/23/2011

 
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