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Continued: July 4th gas price is highest since ’08, but Minnesotans still hit the road

  • Article by: PAUL LEVY , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 3, 2014 - 7:00 AM

But as you stare at the bumper in front of you, remember that other cities’ motorists would gladly trade places. Not only are gas prices generally lower in the Twin Cities than elsewhere in the region, Minnesota ranks favorably nationally, with gas costing more in nearly two-thirds of the other states. Greenville, S.C., had the lowest price Wednesday — $3.29 per gallon. Honolulu and Santa Barbara, Calif., were highest, at $4.32.

Urging caution

This week historically has been one of the busiest — and deadliest — holiday weeks on state roads. Last year, there were 562 crashes and seven fatalities on Minnesota roads during the July 4th week. Fifty-nine deaths were reported over the past decade during Independence Day week, with 34 due to alcohol-related crashes, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Since 2004, Minnesota has seen 4,585 Independence Day week crashes, 200 serious injuries and 5,324 drunken-driving citations, according to the State Patrol. Only Thanksgiving, with its often icy conditions, has a comparable number of holiday crashes in Minnesota.

Work zones don’t make the drive any easier — and several in the Twin Cities will have closed lanes even while work is suspended for the holiday. In the Twin Cities, southbound Hwy. 169 has been closed in Edina and Hwy. 41 between Chaska and Shakopee is closed due to flooding.

“You live with it,” Pat Dillman, 60, of Minneapolis, said of rising gas prices and other obstacles. “If you gotta get out of town, you don’t have much choice.”

Paul Levy • 612-673-4419

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  • Gas prices in the Twin Cities are higher than usual, but holiday travelers say they’ll be heading out of town regardless.

  • Average Gas prices in the Twin Cities

    Wed: $3.57

    July 2, 2013: $3.34

    July 16 : $3.69 (1 year high)

    Dec. 16: $2.87 (1 year low)

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