Travel Forecast

Travel forecast for the holiday from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

To ease the stresses of the holiday season the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) announced Monday 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, Dec. 23 to 5 a.m. Monday, Dec. 27 for the Christmas holiday.

The same restrictions are also in place for the New Year’s holiday from 5 a.m. Friday, Dec. 31, to 6 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 2. These statewide lane restrictions allow reduced traffic congestion during the holidays.

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, Dec. 22, through Tuesday, Dec. 28.

♦ A slight increase of traffic on Thursday, Dec. 23, due to holiday travel and early work departure.

Surface Streets

♦ Heavy traffic on Wednesday, Dec. 22, through Thursday, Dec. 23 with an expected 15 to 25 percent decrease in speeds.

♦ Lower usage than normal from Friday, Dec. 24, through Monday, Dec. 27.

♦ Slight increase in travel on Tuesday, Dec. 28 with a return to normal traffic volume.

Express Lanes

♦ The Northwest Corridor and South Metro Corridor both will follow normal weekday schedules Monday, Dec. 20, through Thursday, Dec. 23.

♦ Northwest Corridor Express Lanes will be adjusted to remain southbound all day from Friday, Dec. 24 through Sunday, Dec. 26, to accommodate holiday travel.

♦ The South Metro Corridor Express Lanes will be adjusted to remain southbound all day from Friday, Dec. 24, through Sunday. Dec. 26, to accommodate holiday travel.

Anticipated traffic volumes for New Year’s 2022:

Interstates

♦ Light to moderate traffic from Wednesday, Dec. 29 through Tuesday, Jan. 4.

♦ Boost in congestion on Thursday, Dec. 30.

♦ Light traffic on Friday, Dec. 31 through Sunday, Jan. 2.

♦ Increase in congestion on Monday, Jan. 3, through Tuesday, Jan. 4, as motorists return to typical commutes.

Surface Streets

♦ Normal to better-than-normal traffic on Wednesday, Dec. 29, through Friday, Jan. 3.

♦ Lighter traffic on Saturday, Jan. 1.

♦ Heavier travel day on Sunday, Jan. 2, that leads into normal traffic times on Monday, Jan. 3, and Tuesday, Jan. 4.

Express Lanes

♦ The Northwest Corridor Express Lanes will operate Southbound all day on Sunday, Dec. 26.

♦ The Northwest Corridor and South Metro Corridor both will follow normal weekday schedules Monday, Dec. 27 through Friday, Dec. 31.

♦ The Northwest Corridor Express Lanes will be adjusted to remain southbound all day from Saturday, Jan. 1, through Sunday, Jan. 2 to accommodate holiday travel.

♦ The South Metro Corridor Express Lanes will be adjusted to remain northbound all day from Saturday, Jan. 1, through Sunday, Jan. 2, to accommodate holiday travel.

For up-to-date information about travel conditions on Georgia’s interstates and state routes, call 511 or visit www.511ga.org before heading out.

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