GDOT suspends lane closures and predicts Best and Worst Travel Times during Thanksgiving Holiday

press release from georgia department of transportation

To allow for anticipated increase in holiday traffic, Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) announced today the suspension of lane closures on Georgia interstates and state routes beginning Wednesday, November 24 at 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday, November 28. These statewide lane closure restrictions will help to reduce traffic congestion during the Thanksgiving holiday. Similar restrictions will be in place for Christmas and New Year’s.While construction related lane closures will be suspended, the department reminds travelers to exercise caution as crews may still work near highways, and safety concerns may require some long-term lane closures to remain in place. In addition, incident management or emergency, maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary at any time on any route.

“By limiting lane closures during the holiday season, we hope to promote a safer, less congested traveling experience,” said Georgia DOT State Construction Engineer John D. Hancock. “Unfortunately, we have seen a noticeable increase in motor vehicle fatalities nationwide due to distracted driving, speeding and driving under the influence. This holiday season and always, we encourage all drivers to put down the cellphones, buckle up, slow down and drive sober.”

Based on travel volume data following Labor Day Weekend 2021, it is predicted that Thanksgiving travel volumes will return to pre-pandemic levels this year. Historical Thanksgiving travel data from 2019 and 2020 for major interstates innortheast Georgia have shown the following trends starting from the afternoon of Wednesday, November 24 to early evening of Sunday, November 28:

  • I-85 North of Atlanta: Southbound congestion near the South Carolina border 

If you do need to travel this holiday, please keep in mind the following tips in mind before hitting the road: 

  • The best time for travel is in the morning, before 10 am. 
  • Traffic volumes begin to increase in the afternoon after 12 pm, when drivers are departing work early or finishing last-minute shopping lists. 

For up-to-date information about travel conditions on Georgia’s interstates and state routes, call 511 or visit before heading out. 511 is a free service that provides real-time statewide information on Georgia’s interstates and state routes, including traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures and delays due to inclement weather 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers can also transfer to an operator to request free roadside service by The Coordinated Highway Assistance & Maintenance Program (CHAMP) service covering interstates outside of Metro Atlanta (except I-59 and I-24). CHAMP monitors 20 routes outside of Metro Atlanta, is available 24/7 and assists stranded motorists, changes tires, maintains traffic flow, and identifies several maintenance issues.

Georgia Department of Transportation plans, constructs and maintains Georgia’s state and federal highways. We’re involved in bridge, waterway, public transit, rail, general aviation, bike and pedestrian programs. And we help local governments maintain their roads. Georgia DOT and its nearly 4,000 employees are committed to delivering a transportation system focused on innovation, safety, sustainability and mobility. The Department’s vision is to boost Georgia’s competitiveness through leadership in transportation. 

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