Traffic flows on the Maine turnpike Friday morning, before nearly 1 million vehicles are expected to pile on for Memorial Day weekend. Credit: CBS 13

KENNEBUNK, Maine — Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer in Vacationland.

The Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA) says nearly 1 million vehicles are expected to travel the turnpike Friday through Monday.

The MTA says while construction will stop during the holiday weekend, there are still areas where the turnpike will have lane shifts or will drop down to one lane, which may cause delays and slow traffic.

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The heaviest traffic northbound on the turnpike is expected Friday between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The heaviest southbound traffic is expected on Monday.

Almost 1 million vehicles are expected to travel on the turnpike over the long weekend, which is up 1.5 percent from last year.

AAA is also predicting a record number of people hitting the road for Memorial Day, as many as 37 million nationwide.

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They say nationally an additional 1.5 million more people will travel this year compared to last year so expect some longer drive times.

The MTA is reminding travelers to drive at the posted speed limit through work zones, even when there are no workers there. Tickets and fines in work zones are double the normal cost.

They say many of the work zones are narrowed and must be traveled at slower speeds for safety.

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