Georgia DOT suspends lane closures; predicts best, worst travel times for holiday travel

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ATLANTA, GA – To allow for the anticipated increase in holiday traffic congestion, the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) announced today the suspension of lane closures on Georgia interstates and state routes during the Christmas weekend beginning Thursday, December 22 at 5 a.m. until Monday, December 26 at 5 a.m. For New Year’s weekend, the suspension of lane closures will be in effect Saturday, December 31 2022 at 5 a.m. until Monday, January 2, 2023 at 5.a.m. 

While construction related lane closures will be suspended, Georgia DOT 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, emergency or maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary at any time on any route.

Below are the best and worst travel times for the 2022 Christmas and New Year’s time periods. The predictions are based on historical travel data from Christmas and New Year’s 2019 through 2021.

Christmas: December 21 – December 27

Metro Atlanta Interstates:

Lighter than usual traffic is predicted on Friday, December 23 through Tuesday, December 27. 

Moderate-to-heavy traffic is expected on the afternoons of Wednesday, December 21 and Thursday, December 22.Metro Atlanta Surface Streets: 

Heavy traffic is predicted on Thursday, December 22 through Friday, December 23.Lower traffic volumes are expected from Christmas Eve to Monday, December 26.

Slight increase in travel times is predicted on Tuesday, December 27

New Year’s: December 28, 2022 – January 3, 2023

Metro Atlanta Interstates:

Moderate-to-heavy traffic is predicted on Wednesday, December 28 and Thursday, December 29.

Lighter than usual traffic is expected on Friday, December 30, 2022 through Monday January 2, 2023.

An increase in congestion is expected on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.

Metro Atlanta Surface Streets:

Normal traffic is expected to return on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.

Light traffic is predicted on New Year’s Day and January 2.Normal to better-than-normal traffic is predicted on Wednesday, December 28 through Saturday, December 31.

Historical Christmas and New Year’s travel data for major interstates outside of metro Atlanta have shown the following trends: 

I-20 eastbound congestion entering metro Atlanta; I-20 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 congestion near the South Carolina and Alabama bordersI-24 eastbound congestion in Northwest Georgia (near ChattanoogaI-16 westbound congestion exiting Savannah and I-16 eastbound congestion entering Savannah

Below are the schedule changes for the Northwest Corridor and the South Metro Express Lanes for both the Christmas and New Year’s holiday weekends. Changes are noted in either green or blue text

Christmas Schedule 

New Year’s Schedule

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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