Thanksgiving travel update: GDOT suspends lane closures, AAA forecasts holiday travel
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is giving an early holiday gift: it’s suspending lane closures for Thanksgiving.
GDOT said in a press release that it “can’t help you land the perfect parking spot at your favorite shopping locale, but we can make it easier for you to get there by restricting lane closures on roads near major shopping centers, malls or districts during the Thanksgiving holiday.”
Construction-related lane closures will be suspended from 5 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25 through 10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29 to help offset holiday traffic.
And there will be a lot of traffic – AAA Travel forecasts 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday – with 42 million of those travelers driving. AAA reports the travel number is up from last year, and this marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel.
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It credits lower gas prices for the increase in travelers, saying, “Most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008.”
In addition to watching for other drivers, GDOT said some crews may still be working close to highways and state routes, so slow down if you find any long-term lane closures.
“We typically see an increase in roadway fatalities during heavy travel holidays,” Marc Mastronardi, State Construction Engineer, is quoted as saying in the GDOT press release. “We cannot overemphasize the need to slow down, drive alert and take every pre-caution to protect yourself and your passengers.”