ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Transportation has released a traffic forecast outlining the best and worst times to leave and return for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Metro Atlanta forecast includes outlooks for Buckhead, North Perimeter, Downtown, Northeast Atlanta, Northwest Atlanta, East Atlanta, South Atlanta and West Atlanta.
According to the agency, drivers leaving from Buckhead will have the most difficult time of it, with prime driving hours expecting heavy traffic on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Construction-related lane closures will be also lifted starting Wednesday morning and running through Monday to ease Thanksgiving traffic, GDOT announced.
The closures will be suspended on “heavily traveled interstate highways and state routes,” the agency said in a release.
“The statewide lane restrictions allow commuters work-zone free travel and reduced traffic congestion during the Thanksgiving Holiday,” GDOT said.
GDOT said it expects Atlanta to see heavy traffic both because of normal holiday travel and high-profile events occurring this week – including the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon & 5K and the Georgia-Georgia Tech football game.
“We anticipate heavy traffic statewide while people are visiting their friends and family, as well as shopping during Black Friday,” GDOT state construction engineer John D. Hancock said.
The agency cautions that “safety concerns may require some long-term lane closures to remain in place” and that emergency closures could be necessary in the event of accidents or other incidents.
GDOT said lane closures would similarly be lifted for Christmas and New Year's.