Holiday travel crunch expected to begin within the hour

A wreck had all southbound lanes of I-85 in Coweta County shut down late Wednesday morning, and authorities are warning that holiday weekend traffic will be building metro-wide by early afternoon.

At least the overnight rain that left roads damp in a few spots during the morning commute has moved well out of metro Atlanta.

The I-85 wreck, which happened just after 11 a.m.,  was blocking all southbound lanes near Collinsworth Road, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Earlier Wednesday morning, a wreck involving six to eight vehicles shut down all southbound lanes of I-75 in Bartow County. That wreck was cleared by late morning.

The DOT was flashing a warning on overhead message boards Wednesday that motorists should "expect extreme delays" on all metro interstates from noon to 7 p.m.

The DOT has suspended all construction-related lane closures through 10 p.m. on Sunday.

While the Federal Aviation Administration was reporting no significant flight delays due to conditions in Atlanta on Wednesday, inclement weather in the Northeast was causing delays averaging 20 to 30 minutes for late morning flights bound for Philadelphia and Newark.

Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Karen Minton said skies over Atlanta will be clearing by Wednesday afternoon, and should remain sunny through Saturday. Highs through the period should be in the 60s, with overnight lows in the 30s.

Minton said there's a chance of rain on Sunday, when many holiday travelers will be returning home.

In addition to the holiday travel traffic and Black Friday shopping traffic, downtown streets will be jammed this weekend by sports fans headed to football games at Georgia Tech and at the Georgia Dome.

Georgia Tech takes on the University of Georgia at noon Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium, while the Falcons play the Minnesota Vikings at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Dome.