Christmas Eve sees light traffic across Mobile-Baldwin region – FOX10 News

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Investigative Reporter

ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WALA) – AAA projected holiday travel would nearly match the pre-pandemic 2019 Christmas season, but the roads were light on Christmas Eve in Mobile and Baldwin counties.
Texas resident Nathan Hall is familiar enough with Interstate 10 to know how easily the Wallace Tunnel can bottleneck during peak travel times. So he said he was a bit surprised at how easily he made it here form the campsite in Mississippi where he’d parked his camper for the night on Thursday.
“We were watching it all morning,” he said as he was pumping gas at the Buc-ee’s store in Baldwin County. “We came out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. And that was one thing we were always watching was whether we’re gonna go around it or go through it. And yesterday, it looked like it was pretty backed up, about three, four miles. And today we’re looking like it was green all the way through. I don’t think we slowed down very much at all.”
Despite its 120 pumps, Buc-ee’s often gets jammed with travelers passing through on I-10. But there were no lines on Friday, and the interstate highways were clear.
Thad Anderson, who lives north of Dallas, said his girlfriend is from the coastal Alabama area, and the two of them are spending the holiday at the Gulf. He told FOX10 News that they made most of the journey Thursday. Friday was the last little leg.
Anderson said there were no traffic issues, whatsoever.
“It really wasn’t that bad,” he said. “We left earlier, and we beat a lot of it coming out of Texas. … The interstates were pretty good the whole way.”
AAA projected that almost 110 million travelers from Thursday through Jan. 2 – the vast majority of them traveling by car.
AAA also has an interactive map on its website alerting drivers to places with COVID restrictions, such as masking requirements in public places in Atlanta and vaccination mandates for restaurants, bars and other entertainment businesses in New Orleans.
Many people stopping at Bucee’s on Friday said they already had reached their holidays destinations.
Phillip Ergle, for instance, said he and his wife rolled in to their condo in Orange Beach Thursday. He said they pick a different spot every year to spend the holidays.
“She just wanted to come to the beach for Christmas, so we decided to come to the beach for Christmas,” he said.
Ergle is from Phil Campbell, Alabama. That is about 25 miles south of Muscle Shoals in the northern end of the state. He said he took a drive up the Baldwin Beach Express from his Orange Beach vacation spot on Friday because he wanted to see first hand the spectacle that is Buc-ee’s.
“We just come to check it out,” he said. “They gonna build one up there in Limestone County, in Athens, Alabama.”
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