Gas prices spike days before busy travel weekend

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Not only do you have to worry about extra traffic this weekend, but you will be paying more at the pump to fill up your gas tank.

Gas prices are spiking, just in time for the busy Christmas travel weekend.

Get ready to dish out the dough if you hit the road this holiday weekend. A check on gas prices in Bon Air: $2.99 for a gallon of regular.

That's much higher than the average price in the Richmond area. But, it's pretty much dead on with the national average. And, if that national average stays where it is now, you'll be paying more than you ever have during the Christmas holiday.

As the sun rose to start a busy travel day, many drivers were surprised to see just how high gas prices are these days.

We found prices at nearly $3 all over the area, as many travelers hit the road early.

But Christopher Weed driving through from Connecticut, considers these prices a bargain!

"I paid $3.24 and when I stopped in Pennsylvania, it was about $3.13. And now it's under $3 and I hope it keeps going that way," he said.

But then there is Demeatra Grammer.

"I'm thinking of going to South Boston, but these gas prices are so high, I can't afford to go," she said.

AAA-Atlantic says nearly 2.7 million Virginians will hit the road to drive 50 miles or more. That's more than last year, and gas prices are spiking.

New numbers out this morning show the average price of regular gas in Richmond is now $2.89.  But nationally it's $3.01. And if the prices stay above $3, it would be a record for the Christmas holiday.

Gene: "That's a lot more than you normally spend?"
Christopher: "Exactly. And, I think if I had gotten a flight earlier, I would spend the same amount I'm spending now."

Some good news for drivers though, VDOT is clearing the way for you in those temporary work zones. But the permanent barriers will stay in place.

You may notice more people on the road today too since Governor Bob McDonnell has given most state employees off today. Most people are off tomorrow as well.

After you pay a lot more than you'd probably like to for gas, you can get road conditions by calling 511 or logging on

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