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GDOT suspending lane closures for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is near and many in the Southern Crescent area are preparing for their journeys to be near family and friends for the holiday.

Motorists will encounter a limited number of construction-related lane closures in Georgia, while driving to their destinations this holiday period, said David Spear, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) spokesman. He said GDOT will suspend the lane closures on Nov. 23, at 5 a.m., and extend the suspension until Nov. 27, at 10 p.m.

The reduced construction is done so that “Georgians and those motorists passing through our state can easily arrive at their Thanksgiving holiday destinations,” Spear said.

“Historically, there are about 3,000 accidents on Georgia roads during the Thanksgiving holiday period,” said Keith Golden, state transportation commissioner. “On average, more than a dozen people die, and a thousand more are injured.”

He said motorists should be especially careful when driving during the Thanksgiving holiday, because it is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year. Drivers should not be distracted or impaired behind the wheel, he stressed.

GDOT’s Spear cautions that some work crews may continue some of their work during the five-day holiday period, and that heavy equipment may remain staged near highways, which makes it even more important that drivers be alert and drive defensively.

He added that the transportation department may have to keep some long-term lane closures intact. “Also, incident management or emergency, maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary at any time on any route,” he said.