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State Police ramping up patrol units for highly traveled Memorial Day stretch

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s one of the busiest traveling periods of the year as heavy traffic is expected for the next few days over Memorial Day weekend in West Virginia.

According to the West Virginia Parkways Authority, they expect around 600,000 vehicles alone to be traveling on the West Virginia Turnpike starting Thursday up until Memorial Day on Monday.

With more travelers hitting the highways over the next five days, West Virginia State Police are letting residents know they will be adding more troopers on the roads to keep drivers as safe as possible. State Police Chief of Staff Maj. Jim Mitchell confirmed that Wednesday, leading up to the first expected day of increased traveling activity.

“We anticipate heavy traffic throughout the state, especially in some of the more populated areas,” Mitchell said. “You’ll see a lot more state troopers out across the state.”

Even with more expected drivers out in the next five days, Mitchell said not much changes for troopers who work busy traffic periods like Memorial Day weekend, except there will be more of them out and about to patrol the roads and they’ll continue to enforce usual business.

“We’re looking to enforce several potential violations,” he said. “We have additional troopers that will be out, thanks to specialized funding through the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.”

With that funding, Mitchell added that they’re putting up more and improved signage to remind drivers to continue driving safely, especially on a busy weekend like the last weekend in May. Maj. Mitchell also brought up how the signage and getting the word out about driving safe is also key as travelers make their way through potential construction and working zones.

“We have a lot of construction going on which complicates things, but we’re trying to put up more signs to keep the public aware of what’s going,” said Mitchell.

The State Police Chief of Staff wished everyone a safe Memorial Day weekend.

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