Airplanes sit on the tarmac at Laguardia Airport Terminal B...

Airplanes sit on the tarmac at Laguardia Airport Terminal B in Queens on Feb. 28, 2020. Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

Lady Liberty's favorite weekend is expected to be marred by crowded roads, rails and airports, and the prospect of travel delays and cancellations.

More than 5 million people are expected to fly aboard planes, ride mass transit and drive motor vehicles via Port Authority facilities and crossings during the holiday weekend, according to the agency.

To accommodate the expected increase in traffic, the agency is suspending construction work at Port Authority crossings from 5 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Wednesday, the agency said in a news release.

The number of people traveling on long weekends typically swells, and flight delays and cancellations have persisted during such periods.

And this year, the Port Authority suggests buffering trips with additional time for just about any kind of travel.

On Memorial Day weekend, for instance, 2,800 flights were canceled, with 7,000 delayed. Over the weekend of Juneteenth and Father’s Day, more than 3,000 flights were canceled and 19,000 were delayed.

Although the situation improved the following weekend, there still were hundreds of flights canceled, including 800 that Sunday and thousands more delays.

And Wednesday's stats are not boding well for the weekend, according to figures by the website FlightAware: as of 4:38 p.m. Wednesday, there were 17,518 delays and 2,319 cancellations.

More than 1.9 million passengers are expected to travel through the agency’s airports — including Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty — a figure that’s 5% lower than the same holiday weekend in July 2019. Parking lots are expected to be full, and the agency suggests parking elsewhere if you haven’t booked already.

But the number of drivers forecast to cross the bridges and tunnels — in 3.3 million vehicles — is also similar to the 2019 number.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the subways and Long Island Rail Road, will have additional trains early Friday afternoon.
The MTA system will run on a weekend/Saturday schedule.

Friday will see an additional 10 LIRR trains in the early afternoon, and there won’t be scheduled track work. The added return service from the Hamptons and Montauk won’t operate on Sunday but on Monday instead. And on Monday, the LIRR will operate on a Sunday schedule.

The MTA is also ceasing routine maintenance and construction starting at 1 p.m. Thursday.

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