Work starts soon on widening of I-25 'Gap' south of Denver (copy)
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Looking north toward Castle Rock, heavy traffic moves along Interstate 25 in December 2016.

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Spurred by lower gas prices and a strong economy, Coloradans are expected to travel in record numbers over the Fourth of July, an analysis by AAA Colorado says.

A projected 841,000 Coloradans — and 49 million Americans — will travel July 3-7, the highest number projected by AAA.

“As a country, we’ve increasingly decided to spend more money on travel experiences, and this holiday builds on Memorial Day’s record demand at a time when schools are out and families have the opportunity to hit the road,” AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley said in a statement.

Rising disposable income, employment and wages all will contribute to the anticipated travel bump, the statement said.

Most travelers are expected to travel by automobile, in part because nationwide gas prices are 20 cents lower than at this time last year. AAA expects prices to continue to decline over the coming weeks.

AAA predicts that travel times will be at least 10% longer than normal, due to the influx of road-trippers. Near major metros, travel times could be four times longer than normal.

Unsurprisingly, the worst day for delays is anticipated to be July 3. While a smaller proportion will fly to their destinations, 3.96 million Americans will travel by plane, a 5.3 percent increase from last year and the highest number on record.

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@evanochsner

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Evan is a 2019 intern at The Gazette. He is a Colorado Springs native who is currently a student at Northwestern University.

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