To ease the stresses of the holiday season the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) announced the suspension of construction-related lane closures on heavily-traveled interstate highways and state routes near major shopping areas and tourist locations for the New Year’s holiday from 5 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, until 5 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 2. The statewide lane restrictions allow reduced traffic congestion during the winter holidays.

“Although traffic volumes were down earlier this year due to COVID-19, unfortunately, fatalities on our roadways have been up,” said GDOT State Construction Engineer John D. Hancock. “I urge drivers traveling this season to watch your speed, put down your cell phones, be alert and make sure you and your passengers buckle-up. Let’s make sure everyone has a happy holiday.”

While lane closures will be suspended, the department encourages travelers to exercise caution as work zone crews may still be in close proximity to 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.

To help ensure this season of joy is not marred by tragedy, GDOT advises holiday revelers to avoid drinking and driving and urges designating a sober driver in advance or utilizing a ride-share or taxi service.

Motorists are also reminded to drive defensively, and exercise extra caution during the season. Slow down and “Drive Alert Arrive Alive.”

Always maintain a proper speed that is safe for current roadway conditions. Remember, as temperatures drop, any amount of precipitation can freeze and create a hazardous road condition.

Should inclement weather occur during the season, GDOT is ready to treat the roads with brine, gravel and salt.

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.