Construction closures break for holidays

LAWRENCEVILLE -- While there is sure to be traffic near the local mall, government officials are doing their best to stay out of the way of holiday travelers this Thanksgiving.

The Georgia Department of Transportation announced Tuesday it would suspend construction-related lane closures on interstates and major state routes during the holiday weekend. The break is set for noon Nov. 21 until 9 p.m. Nov. 25.

"Historically, there are about 3,000 accidents on Georgia roads during the Thanksgiving holiday period," Transportation Commissioner Keith Golden said while announcing the furlough period. "On average, more than a dozen people die and a thousand more are injured. This is supposed to be a holiday for grateful contemplation and festive family gatherings, not tragedy. Please be very careful and do not drive distracted or while impaired."

Despite the official break, officials are asking travelers to exercise caution due to the high volume of traffic expected during the holiday.

Crews may choose to work during a portion of the weekend or leave heavy equipment staged in close proximity to highways, a press release said, adding that long-term lane closures may remain in place due to safety concerns. Also, emergency lane closures may be necessary. For updated information, call 511 or visit 511ga.org.