You may have been noticing the rise in gasoline prices here in the Rockford area.

Drivers are already paying an average of $2.90 for a gallon of regular gasoline. There may be no relief in sight as oil in London topped $80 a barrel Thursday on tightening global supplies. So what does that mean for the average driver in Illinois and the country as a whole?

Prices have risen for nine days straight, according to AAA. While average costs aren't expected to approach the record $4.14 a gallon reached in July 2008, there's a 75 percent chance they will soon reach $3, according to the analysts at GasBuddy.

From the Daily Herald:

The higher prices aren't expected to stop Americans from hitting the road. AAA projects a 4.7 percent jump in travel by automobile over the U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Retail gasoline prices "are going up," Ashley Petersen, lead oil analyst at Stratas Advisors in New York, said in a phone interview. "Hopefully, you took your road trip last year because it is going to be more expensive this year."

If you're still planning on hitting the road at some time over the summer months, at least you've been warned to budget more for those fill-ups.

Like a good crowd when you stop for gas and snacks? This is your place:

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