Labor Day weekend: Here’s what you can expect traffic to be like in metro Atlanta

METRO ATLANTA — Yes, we are about to hit the unofficial end of summer as we approach the Labor Day weekend.

It’s traditionally one of the busiest weekends all year in metro Atlanta with a multitude of events, football games and celebrations all planned.

First, the good news: Georgia’s Department of Transportation plans to limit construction on major state roads that go directly to tourist and recreational areas. They are doing this because traffic volumes have reverted back to near pre-pandemic levels.

“This year, we anticipate traffic volumes will be closer to what we experienced in 2019 as Georgians head out on the roads this Labor Day weekend,” said Andrew Heath, P.E., Georgia DOT’s State Traffic Engineer. “With this heavier traffic in mind, we encourage travelers to plan their trips ahead, practice safe driving behaviors and most of all enjoy their holiday weekend as safely as possible.”

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GDOT put together a five day traffic forecast for the busy weekend. Here’s a breakdown of the best days and worst times to travel:

  • Friday: Limit metro Atlanta interstate travel from noon until 8 p.m. GDOT recommends giving yourself at least 30-45 minutes of extra travel time because of increased congestion.
  • Saturday: Some congestion on the interstate from noon until 6 p.m. You can expect typical Saturday travel times
  • Sunday and Monday: GDOT is forecasting typical Sunday travel times
  • Tuesday: Moderate congestion on the interstates from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in metro Atlanta. Expect weekday commute travel times

Over the weekend, GDOT does not expect a rush of traffic. In fact, they said it should be lighter than normal.

However, with the Alabama vs. Miami college football game scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Dragon-Con, Black Gay Pride Weekend and more going on in downtown Atlanta, there is a good chance you’ll find traffic on the city streets.

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Labor Day Monday, traffic is still expected to be lighter than normal as many people will have the day off. However on Tuesday, GDOT said they expect traffic to return pretty close to normal with a bit of a stagger as holiday travelers return to work.

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Georgia DOT does want to remind drivers that crews may still work near some highways to address safety and maintenance concerns that may require some long-term lane closures.

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