Hammonasset opens late, as drivers hit the roads for Memorial Day

MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) — Some 34 million travelers are expected to hit the nation’s highways this Memorial Day weekend. That’s up six percent from last years numbers. The Connecticut Department of Transportation is doing what it can to help keep roads clear.

“We will pull all of our crews off the roadways all of our construction activity off of the roadways so that folks will have the entire holiday without any roadway activities related to our construction activities,” said Kevin Nursick, DOT spokesman. “And we won’t go back out on the road until 6 A.M. on Tuesday.”

Figures show that late May into early June is one of the cheapest times of year to take a vacation. Prices creep up as we get deeper into summer.

Related: Tips for beating Memorial Day Weekend traffic

Tom Phibbs drove three hours from Albany to set up early at Hammonasset State Park, only to find the gates locked on arrival. Due to state budget issues, Hammonasset is opening a week later than normal before the busy holiday weekend.

“In years past you get in here at 8 A.M.,” Phibbs said. “We actually drove through the night when we got out of work last night to get here. Now we’re being told we can’t get in until 12 or 1 o’clock.”

Joseph Collins of Wallingford, also waited in line at Hammonasset, disappointed he couldn’t get in to set up his camp early like in years past.

“I’ve been coming here for a lot of year and it’s always been 8 o’clock in the morning, that they open,” Collins said.

Related: Delayed opening for Hammonasset on busy Memorial Day Weekend

But the hearty campers are taking it in stride on this holiday weekend.

“You make the best out of it. It is what it is,” Phibbs said. “We’re not going to make a big issue out of it, but it is an inconvenience.”

“Even though it rains, it’s better than a day at work or a day at home,” Collins said.

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