More than 55 million Americans, 7 million Californians, and 4.3 million Southern Californians are making plans to kick off the holiday season with a trip of 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

For the 49.3 million Americans traveling by automobile, transportation analytics firm INRIX predicts major delays throughout the week, with trips taking as much as five times longer because of commuter traffic mixing with travelers.

“With record levels of travelers, and persistent population growth in the country’s major metropolitan areas, drivers must prepare for major delays,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Although travel times will peak on Wednesday afternoon nationally, travelers should expect much heavier than normal congestion throughout the week.”

Of the 4.3 million Southern Californian travelers, the vast majority – 3.7 million – will drive to their destinations. This is a 2.3% increase over last year’s Thanksgiving traffic volumes, putting even more pressure on highways, roads and bridges.

Using its Delay Multiplier, INRIX is predicting that, during peak congestion times, SoCal travelers will be subjected to the worst delays along these notorious traffic stretches:

  • I-10 East, from Santa Monica to the I-5 interchange = 5.2x delays
  • I-405 both North and South, between Panorama City and I-110 = delays up to 2.7x
  • I-10 East, from State St. Los Angeles to West Covina = 2.6x delays
  • US 101 West and East, between CA 170 and CA 23 = delays up to 2.4x
  • I-5 South, between Capistrano Beach and Oceanside = 2.3x delays

Thankfully, SB 1 – the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 – provides funding for infrastructure programs that help reduce congestion. The Solutions for Congested Corridors Program (SCCP) provides $250 million annually for multimodal corridor plans that make performance improvements along the state’s busiest highways to reduce congestion throughout the state. The State-Local Partnership Program (LPP) provides $200 million annually for community solutions to ease congestions on both state and local roads.

These programs are putting SB 1 dollars towards solutions for some of SoCal’s most highly-traveled and highly-congested corridors, including: I-405 and I-105 in Los Angeles County, I-5 in Orange County and San Diego County, I-10 in San Bernardino County, US 101 Santa Barbara County, and SR-55 in Orange County.

Source: Various