August 31st, 2023 – 12:15 PM
Georgia Department of Transportation –
To allow for the anticipated increase in Labor Day weekend traffic congestion, the 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, and 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 to 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.