Busy Memorial Day Weekend Makes For Travel Nightmare On Local Highways

05/28/2010 06:45 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It is expected to be a busier than usual Memorial Day weekend for travel in Southern California, and signs of this are have been evident on local roads since yesterday. A drop in gas prices is largely responsible for the surge in holiday motorists. CBS 2 reports that the price of gasoline in LA county has dropped seven cents in the last week to $3.03, its biggest pre-Memorial Day drop in years. These low prices, in conjunction with a still fragile economy have resulted in families opting for more road trips rather than flying, according to AAA.

Even so, LAX is still expecting a healthy increase in Memorial Day passenger traffic. KPCC reports: "According to Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that operates LAX, about 769,000 travelers are expected to pass through the airport during the four-day Memorial Day weekend -- a 5.3 percent increase from the same period in 2009."

Making matters much, much worse for those trying to get out of town is the ongoing closure of the 91 freeway after a tanker exploded this morning. . According to the LA Times, the driver of the tanker managed to escape, but the multi-vehicle accident shut down traffic in both directions, causing back-ups for miles. As of 3 pm, all westbound lanes are open, ABC 7 reports that the westbound lanes will remain closed for at least 12 hours.