Good news for Cobb County: GDOT suspends lane closures for the holiday weekends

Road construction equipmentRoad construction equipment (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

For those of you accustomed to the headaches of slow-moving traffic due to weekend lane closures and road work by Georgia Department of Transportation road crews and contractors every weekend, there is good news for the holiday weekends.

The ongoing work that afflicts SR 360 (both the Macland and Powder Springs roads segments), I-20, Veterans Memorial, SR 92, around the bridges on I-285 and in other locations around the county will be suspended over the holiday weekends.

The GDOT issued the following press release:

Atlanta –To ease the stresses of the holiday season the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) announced today the suspension of construction-related lane closures on heavily traveled interstate highways and state routes near major shopping areas and tourist locations from 5 a.m. Thursday, December 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, December 27 for the Christmas holiday. The same restrictions are also in place for the New Year’s holiday from 5 a.m. Friday, December 31 to 6 a.m. Sunday, January 2. These statewide lane restrictions allow reduced traffic congestion during the holidays.

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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.

Traffic volume data was derived from the corresponding holiday weeks in 2019 and 2020 as well as a 10-week period between September and November 2021.

Anticipated traffic volumes for Christmas 2021:

  • Interstates
    • Mostly light traffic from Wednesday, December 22 through Tuesday, December 28.
      • A slight increase of traffic on Thursday, December 23 due to holiday travel and early work departure.  
  • Surface Streets
    • Heavy traffic on Wednesday, December 22 through Thursday, December 23 with an expected 15 to 25 percent decrease in speeds. 
    • Lower usage than normal from Friday, December 24 through Monday, December 27.
    • Slight increase in travel on Tuesday, December 28 with a return to normal traffic volume. 
  • Express Lanes
    • The Northwest Corridor and South Metro Corridor both will follow normal weekday schedules Monday, December 20 through Thursday, December 23.
    • Northwest Corridor Express Lanes will be adjusted to remain southbound all day from Friday, December 24 through Sunday. December 26 to accommodate holiday travel.
    • The South Metro Corridor Express Lanes will be adjusted to remain southbound all day from Friday, December 24 through Sunday. December. 26 to accommodate holiday travel.

Anticipated traffic volumes for New Year’s 2022:

  • Interstates
    • Light to moderate traffic from Wednesday, December 29 through Tuesday, January 4.
    • Boost in congestion on Thursday, December 30. 
    • Light traffic on Friday, December 31 through Sunday, January 2. 
    • Increase in congestion on Monday, January 3 through Tuesday, January 4 as motorists return to typical commutes. 
  • Surface Streets
    • Normal to better-than-normal traffic on Wednesday, December 29 through Friday, January 3.
    • Lighter traffic on Saturday, January 1.
    • Heavier travel day on Sunday, January 2 that leads into normal traffic times on Monday, January 3 and Tuesday, January 4. 
  • Express Lanes
    • The Northwest Corridor Express Lanes will operate Southbound all day on Sunday, December 26.
    • The Northwest Corridor and South Metro Corridor both will follow normal weekday schedules Monday, December 27 through Friday, December 31.
    • The Northwest Corridor Express Lanes will be adjusted to remain southbound all day from Saturday, January 1 through Sunday, January 2 to accommodate holiday travel.
    • The South Metro Corridor Express Lanes will be adjusted to remain northbound all day from Saturday, January 1 through Sunday, January 2 to accommodate holiday travel.

The GDOT recommends the following safety precautions for drivers approaching the work zone:

As always, motorists traveling in the area are reminded to reduce their speeds in the work zone. Motorists are also encouraged to wear seatbelts, eliminate distractions behind the wheel, and plan their routes before getting on the road by calling 511 for real-time information on work status and traffic conditions.

About the Georgia Department of Transportation

The GDOT describes itself as follows:

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. 

The GDOT’s governing body is the 14-member State Transportation Board. The board is chosen by the state legislative delegations of each of the 14 congressional districts in Georgia. The board members serve five-year terms.

The board is currently chaired by Emily Dunn from the 9th Congressional District.

The State Transportation Board chooses the commissioner, currently Russell R. McMurry.

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