If your weekend plans include heading downtown, you’ll have plenty of company as police are anticipating nearly 200,000 visitors for several major events taking place within a couple of blocks of one another.
The Georgia World Congress Center/Georgia Dome/Philips Arena area will be ground zero for the influx of visitors.
The four-day Bronner Brothers International Hair Show begins Saturday at the World Congress Center, which is also hosting the Cheersport Nationals cheerleading competition Friday through Sunday.
Next door at the Georgia Dome, a huge crowd is expected for Saturday night’s Monster Jam, while the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has numerous performances throughout the weekend at Philips Arena.
“Both pedestrian and vehicular traffic is expected to be extremely heavy around these events,” Atlanta police Sgt. Greg Lyon said. Lyon said police are “urging event-goers and other visitors to the downtown area to consider taking MARTA or carpooling.”
Motorists headed into town from the suburbs will have several road construction-related interstate closings to deal with, particularly on the top-end Perimeter.
The three right lanes of I-285 eastbound will be closed from I-75 to Powers Ferry Road and again from Roswell Road to just past GA. 400, while the three left lanes of I-285 westbound will be shut down from Ashford Dunwoody Road to past Ga. 400. Those closures are set to begin at 9 p.m. Friday and continue through 5 a.m. Monday.
In south DeKalb County, the two right lanes of I-20 eastbound will be closed between Columbia Drive and Wesley Chapel Road from 8 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday. Two lanes of I-285 in each direction near Glenwood Road will also be closed all weekend.
All of the weekend construction is weather-permitting, and with the exception of a few sprinkles or snow flurries Friday night and Saturday, the weather should cooperate.