Atlanta weekend | Road construction taking a break for July 4th

Metro Atlanta motorists will be celebrating independence from traffic-clogging road work this weekend as the Georgia Department of Transportation has suspended construction-related lane closures statewide.

The moratorium on lane closures begins at 5 p.m. Thursday and continues through 5 a.m. Monday.

“We expect heavy holiday traffic across the state as people head to celebratory parades, barbecues and fireworks,” said Jeff Baker, director of construction for GDOT. “By restricting lane closures, we hope this will enable motorists to travel with fewer delays and less stress.”

ExploreUpdated traffic information from the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center

Safety campaign aims to reduce holiday weekend fatalities

Fourteen people were killed in wrecks on Georgia roads over the 2014 Independence Day holiday weekend. State authorities are hoping GDOT’s “Drive Alert Arrive Alive” campaign, encouraging drivers to buckle up, stay off the phone and not text, will lower that number in 2015.

Troopers hitting the roads in force

Col. Mark McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said the Georgia State Patrol will be conducting concentrated patrols and road checks throughout the state this weekend.

“Troopers will be out in full force, aggressively targeting motorists who put lives in danger by driving impaired, speeding and not buckling up,” McDonough said. “If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested.”

Gas prices way down from last Fourth of July

Metro Atlanta’s average price Wednesday for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline of $2.77 was down nearly a dollar from a year ago, according to atlantagasprices.com.

The metro area’s cheapest gas early Wednesday was in Covington, where a couple of stations were charging $2.44, and in Kennesaw, where gas was going for $2.49 at a half-dozen stations.

Statewide, the cheapest gas reported by the website was $2.25 in Augusta.

Weekend forecast includes a few rain drops

Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton is forecasting a 60 percent chance of rain for Friday, diminishing slightly to 40 percent Saturday and Sunday. Afternoon highs will be in the mid-80s, with morning lows in the low 70s, she said.

ExploreCheck the full forecast and track changes

Baseball, road race, fireworks and parades

The Braves play a three-game series against the Phillies this weekend, with game times at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Friday’s and Saturday’s games will be capped off by a fireworks display at Turner Field.

Other places to see fireworks Saturday night include Lenox Square, Centennial Olympic Park, Stone Mountain Park and in downtown Marietta and East Point. Full list of holiday fireworks

Independence Day parades will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. in Dunwoody, 10 a.m. in Marietta and Douglasville and 5:30 p.m. in Decatur.

About 60,000 runners and walkers are expected to head down Peachtree Street during Saturday morning's Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race. More information on the race can be found here.

ExploreFull list of weekend events