Georgia DOT suspends lane closures ahead of Labor Day weekend

press releast from the Georgia Department of Transportation

ATLANTA, GA – To allow for the anticipated increase in Labor Day weekend traffic congestion, Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) announced today the suspension of lane closures on Georgia interstates and state routes beginning Friday, September 1 at 12 p.m. until 5 a.m. Tuesday, September 5. 

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 associated with Hurricane Idalia may require some long-term lane closures to remain in place. In addition, incident management, emergency or maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary at any time on any route.

Lane closure suspensions have also been put into effect to ease any possibility of congestion as Hurricane Idalia approaches the southeastern U.S. Given Gov. Kemp’s declaration of a State of Emergency for Georgia, Georgia DOT is monitoring Hurricane Idalia’s trajectory and changes to predictions on how the storm will affect the state. The department has teams statewide and will have equipment loaded and crews are on alert, including immediate-response strike teams ready to respond should the storm bring severe weather anywhere in the state. 

Georgia DOT’s 7-day travel forecast for metro Atlanta interstates this holiday weekend indicates the heaviest traffic volumes will occur on Friday, September 1. Motorists can expect to add approximately 30 – 45 minutes to their travel times. Moderate traffic is predicted on Wednesday, August 30 and Thursday, August 31. Light to normal traffic is expected on both Sunday, September 3 and Monday, September 4. Forecasts are based on historical traffic volumes on similar dates around the Labor Day weekend. Please note the below changes to the South Metro Corridor Express Lane operational schedule beginning Friday, September 1 through Monday, September 4. No changes are expected for the Northwest Corridor Express Lanes. Schedules are subject to change due to current traffic needs. 

The red directions indicate a change from the usual schedule.

Outside of the metro Atlanta, historical Labor Day Weekend travel data from 2022 for major interstates have shown the following trends: 

  • I-20 eastbound congestion entering metro Atlanta; westbound congestion exiting the city towards Alabama. 
  • I-75 is predicted to have heavy congestion southbound and northbound coming out of Atlanta in Stockbridge. 
  • I-85 and I-185 congestion in West Georgia (near Alabama).
  • I-24 eastbound congestion in Northwest Georgia (near Chattanooga).
  • I-16 westbound congestion exiting Savannah and I-16 eastbound congestion entering Savannah.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 42,795 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2022. Although this total represents a small decrease of about 0.3% as compared 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation describes this loss of life as a “national crisis of traffic deaths on our roadways.” Georgia DOT takes traffic fatalities on our roadways seriously and urges all motorists to always Drive Alert Arrive Alive. Motorists and passengers are urged to wear a seat belt and eliminate unsafe driving behavior such as distracted driving, speeding and driving under the influence. 

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 operators to request HERO assistance in metro Atlanta or CHAMP service on highways in other regions of the state.

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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