To accommodate the expected increase in holiday traffic, beginning at 5 a.m. Wednesday, November 22, the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) will suspend lane closures on Georgia interstates, major state highways, and roads near major shopping centers, Suspend shopping centers or districts. through 10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, with the goal of improving traffic flow during the Thanksgiving holiday.
The lifting of the lane closures is part of efforts to minimize congestion and ensure a smooth travel experience for the public. Similar restrictions will be introduced to make holiday travel easier over Christmas and New Year.
While construction-related road closures are suspended, travelers are urged to remain vigilant. Construction crews may still be operating near highways and certain long-term lane closures may be maintained for safety reasons. In addition, lane closures related to incident management or emergency maintenance could be implemented on any route and at any time.
Travelers are advised to check road conditions, follow signs and exercise caution, especially near work areas. The Georgia DOT is committed to improving the safety and efficiency of leisure travel for all road users.
Georgia DOT expects traffic congestion to increase on metro Atlanta interstates beginning Monday afternoon, November 20th, with heavy to above average traffic expected for Wednesday, November 22nd. Drivers should exercise caution on Sunday, November 26th. There is a high potential for accidents on this day as there will be traffic jams between 5pm and 8pm following the public holiday
If holiday travel is necessary, consider the following Thanksgiving travel forecasts for metro Atlanta highways:
• Moderate traffic on Monday, November 20th and Tuesday, November 21st.
• Most traffic and congestion on Wednesday, November 22nd, between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m
• Light traffic on Thursday, November 23rd and Friday, November 24th.
• Moderate traffic is expected to resume on Saturday, November 25 and Monday, November 27 as people return home.
• Heavy traffic and high risk of accidents on Sunday, November 26th.
Additionally, historical 2022 Thanksgiving travel data for major highways outside of metro Atlanta showed the following trends from Monday, November 20 through Sunday, November 26:
• Traffic jam on I-20 eastbound Wednesday, Nov. 23, toward Metro Atlanta; Westbound traffic jam Sunday, November 26, toward Alabama.
• Heavy congestion is expected to occur on I-75 southbound and northbound from Atlanta in Stockbridge.
• Traffic jams on I-85 and I-185 in West Georgia near Alabama.
• Traffic jam on eastbound I-24 near Chattanooga.
• Congestion on I-16 westbound exiting Savannah and on I-16 eastbound entering Savannah.
Tips for safe driving
• Drive carefully, keep your seatbelt fastened, minimize distractions.
• Drivers should always drive defensively, with their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, during the Thanksgiving travel season and beyond.
• Too much turkey? Don’t worry, seat belts stretch. Always fasten your seatbelt before hitting the road.
• “Click It or Ticket” remains fully valid for the holiday travel period. Passengers should not operate a motor vehicle without first wearing their seat belt.
• Before you hit the road, visit 511ga.org and download the free 511 Georgia app for detailed navigation and estimated travel times, check the traffic camera and view real-time travel speeds.
• Call 511 to request HERO or CHAMP assistance.
• HERO employees patrol the Atlanta metropolitan area 24 hours a day. It is a free service in the state of Georgia.
• CHAMP operators patrol highways outside of the Atlanta metropolitan area (except I-59 and I-24) and are a free service.
Move over for first responders
• Traffic-related incidents are a leading cause of death for police officers. Let us all do our part to ensure road safety. Drive carefully, eliminate distractions and stay focused on the road.
• If traffic is too heavy to negotiate safely, the law instead requires drivers to slow below the posted speed limit and be ready to stop.
• Georgia’s move-over law requires drivers to move across a lane whenever possible when an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the side of the road.
• Vehicles covered by the law include all first responders (law enforcement, fire, EMS), commercial vehicles, Georgia DOT vehicles, HERO and CHAMP units, and towing services responding to an accident.
For current information on travel conditions on Georgia’s interstate and state routes, call 511 or visit www.511ga.org before you leave. 511 is a free service that provides real-time, statewide information on Georgia’s highways 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 be routed to operators to request HERO assistance in the Atlanta metropolitan area or CHAMP service on highways in other regions of the state.