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HOLIDAY TRAFFIC EXPECTED TO INCREASE THIS YEAR

Motorists will have a lot of company as they set out on their Thanksgiving weekend journey.

More than 3.3 million vehicles traveled the Thruway during the 2003 Thanksgiving period, a number that is expected to climb this year, the Thruway Authority said.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after are traditionally the biggest driving days.

Traffic forecasts indicate the heaviest volume will occur between noon to 8 p.m. on both days. Sites most likely to experience tie-ups are:

The Lackawanna and Williamsville toll barriers; the Rochester-Victor exchanges in Western New York; Albany exchanges 23 and 24; the Caanan toll barrier on the Berkshire Section, which connects the Thruway with the Massachusetts Turnpike; Harriman Exchange 16; Newburgh Exchange 17; and at the Woodbury, New Rochelle and Tappan Zee Bridge toll barriers near New York City.

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