If you're driving south this weekend, you might want to tank up in South Carolina, where the state average price of $3.573 is the nation's lowest, according to the Oil Price Information Service.
Triangle drivers are paying an average $3.705 a gallon for self-service regular. That's down a dime in just the past week, but nearly a dollar more than we paid a year ago.
Why is our gas more expensive than South Carolina's? Most of the difference is in taxes. North Carolina adds 32.8 cents in tax and inspection fees to the price of each gallon (only 12 states have higher gas taxes). South Carolina's gas tax is only 16.8 cents, lower than all but three states' rates, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
AAA cites the recent gas price drop, and an improvement in unemployment numbers, in its prediction that 865,000 North Carolinians will travel this weekend, mostly by car -- a 3 percent increase over last year's Memorial Day numbers.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport expects to handle 130,000 airline travelers through Monday, with Friday the busiest day.
Most state Department of Transportation road construction will be suspended from Friday afternoon until Tuesday morning, but traffic will be squeezed into a cingle lane because of construction on two U.S. 17 bridges: the Cashie River bridge in Windsor (Bertie County) and the Buddy Phillips Bridge in Jacksonville (Onslow County).