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Rising Gas Prices Taking Toll On Tri-State Area Drivers

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Gas Pump (file / credit: clipart.com)

Gas Pump (file / credit: clipart.com)

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NEWARK, NJ (CBSNewYork) – Rising gas prices are taking their toll on drivers across the Tri-state area.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond With The Area’s Highest Price

The national average for a gallon of gas shot up again Thursday to $3.61. So far, that’s a 33 cent spike since the first of the year and it’s 42 cents more than you were paying this time last year.

New Jersey sits slightly below the national average at $3.53, but the cost of gas in the Garden State will go up again on Friday.

A gallon of regular will go up 3 cents at stations on the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike to $3.54 per gallon. Middle grade will hit $3.72 and premium is jumping to $3.83.

In New York and Connecticut, drivers are shelling out an average of $3.89.

Click here to check gas prices near you

And in many places, it’s already well above the $4 mark, nearly $4.50 at a station along the Hutchinson Parkway.

“It seems like it’s getting out of hand right now,” said driver Tom Salierno.

“I just paid $4.49, hopefully enough to get me to a gas station where they’re a little cheaper on Long Island,” said driver Michael Cacciola.

The skyrocketing prices are threatening to undercut an economic rally and land a punch on President Obama as he gears up for re-election.

WATCH: CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reports

A new AP poll shows 58 percent of those surveyed say they disapprove of how he is handling the rising prices at the pump, but he isn’t offering any quick solutions.

“While there are no silver bullets short-term when it comes to gas prices and anybody who says otherwise isn’t telling the truth, I have directed my administration to look for every single area where we can make an impact and help consumers in the months ahead,” Obama said Thursday.

In 2009, gas was priced at only $1.98 a gallon. In 2010, prices rose to $2.97 and then to $3.43 last year.

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