Heavy traffic expected for graduation weekend
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri's graduation ceremonies start Friday and go throughout the entire weekend, which means there will be a lot of visitors in town.
"This year we will have more than 5,500 graduates participating in exercises this month and we're expecting an influx of maybe as many as 60,000 people in town this weekend," said MU spokesperson Liz McCune.
There will be more people, and therefore more cars, in town for graduation, so traffic will move more slowly than usual before and after commencement times. MU provides a full schedule of every graduation ceremony online.
Graduation isn't the only big event happening in town over the weekend, though.
"This weekend is going to be even busier than normal because of the SEC softball tournament," said McCune. "So, we're recommending that people give themselves a little extra time to get to their destination."
The MU Police also said people should give themselves some time to get around.
The City of Columbia said there aren't any major construction projects that would slow traffic even more, but it still asks people to drive with caution.
The Columbia Police Department said it will go about the weekend as it usually would.
"Officers will patrol and respond to calls for service as usual this weekend," CPD spokesperson Bryana Larimer said in an email. "We will also have Community Service Aides out and available to respond to traffic-related incidents."
The SEC softball tournament will be winding down when graduation starts heating up.
Arkansas plays South Carolina for the first semifinal game at 2 p.m. Friday at the Mizzou Softball Stadium. The next semifinal game will start at 4:30 p.m Friday.
The championship starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Lincoln University also holds its commencement the weekend of May 11, so Jefferson City can expect heavier traffic, too.