KANSAS CITY, Mo. - State transportation officials are urging caution for weekend drivers as Labor Day trips collide with football traffic on Saturday as much of the region is dealing with its first band of heavy rain in months .
Traffic trends this Labor Day are expected to follow more congested Memorial Day and Fourth of July holiday weekends, and Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri all host evening football games on the opening weekend of the season.
Kansas hosts South Dakota at 6 p.m. in Lawrence; Kansas State welcomes Missouri State to Manhattan at 6:10 p.m.; and Southeastern Louisiana kicks off with Missouri in Columbia at 6 p.m.
Throw in Tropical Depression Isaac, and you have what could be some spotty conditions along Kansas and Missouri highways.
"The rain is a welcome sight,” said Missouri Department of Transporation Chief Enginner Dave Nichols, “but it also means drivers need to be alert to slick travel conditions."
MoDOT officials warn of possible hydroplaning and quickly-flooded low water crossings.
Grease and engine oil has built along roadways in the recent hot and dry weather, and MoDOT warns the grease and oil will rise to the surface in the wet weather, making for slick conditions.
About 33 million people will hit american highways this weekend for Labor Day trips longer than 50 miles, but that doesn’t account for traveling football fans.
"We ask everyone on the roads to slow down, pay attention, and stay updated on the latest weather and road conditions this holiday weekend," Nichols said.
In both Kansas and Missouri, the dpartments of transportation are urging drivers to use available tools to properly plan your trip.
A KDOT news release about weekend traffic suggest those commuting through the Sunflower State use the 511 Mobile site, http://511mm.ksdot.org , which offers maps, road condition and work zone updates and links to weather.
You can also call 511 from any phone at any time to get route-specific road conditions, including closed roads and detours.
A good spot to plan ahead in Kansas is at KDOT’s “traveler information gateway,” www.kandrive.com .
To help navigate roads in Missouri, the DOT has a traveler information map, list of current major projects impacting traffic and other resources at www.modot.org and on their mobile site, which can be found on your wireless phone by pointing your browser to modot.org.
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