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Active holiday weekend expected

Authorities ready on roads, water

POSTED: August 30, 2013 12:29 a.m.
 

Labor Day travel is expected to be at its highest since 2008.

With that in mind, the state Department of Transportation is working to ensure traveling over the long holiday weekend is as smooth as possible, halting all major road construction until Tuesday.

But for those who aren’t leaving Forsyth County, local law enforcement is prepared.

“We will have the personnel in place to handle whatever comes up,” said Doug Rainwater with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

The agency will have additional patrols — including bicycle and marine units — to help with enforcement over the 78-hour holiday period, which runs from 6 tonight to midnight Monday.

Deputies will be conducting safety checkpoints, as well as laser speed details, on various roads throughout the county.

“Our primary purpose during the Labor Day weekend is to provide high visibility, proactive traffic enforcement, seat belt and child seat restraint compliance” said Sheriff Duane K. Piper. “We will also provide law enforcement visibility on Lake Lanier and in all county parks.”

The lake likely will be busy all weekend, according to county Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers.

“Traditionally, Labor Day is the last big weekend for the summer and it does mark the traditional end of the summer season for lake recreation,” he said. “We do expect it to be a very busy weekend on Lake Lanier, primarily because throughout the summer, the weather has been an inhibiting factor for lake recreation.

“The forecast for this holiday weekend seems to be a lot more favorable for time outdoors, so we do expect many residents and visitors to be taking advantage of this opportunity to enjoy some summer weather on the last holiday of the summer.”

Shivers said the department will be fully staffed and Stations 9 and 15, which both handle water response calls, are ready. But he’s hopes they won’t be called upon.

He reminded lake-goers to be patient, use caution and stay out of the water if they can’t swim. He also advised against swimming alone.

“And please, please, please, adults, keep an eye on your children at all times,” Shivers said.

For motorists heading out of town, all state road construction will be suspended at noon today and won’t resume until 5 a.m. Tuesday.

“No lane closures will be scheduled over the holiday weekend,” said Bayne Smith, northeast Georgia district engineer. “The only exception would be for emergency maintenance work in the case of traffic accidents, and other unpredictable types of transportation incidents.

“We understand that a lot of people are hitting the road for the Labor Day holiday and we would like to make it a little easier.”

According to AAA Travel, more than 805,000 Georgians will drive at least 50 miles from their home over the weekend, with more than 113,000 others traveling by air, train or bus.

Nationally, more than 34.1 million people will travel during the holiday.

“Although this summer’s holiday travel numbers were pretty lackluster compared to last year, Labor Day travel is forecast to end the summer with a bang,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman.

“More people are forecast to travel this Labor Day weekend since the post-recession high of 45 million in 2008.”

 

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