Weekend construction to slow traffic on the Connector

Heavy traffic is once again predicted on the Downtown Connector this weekend as crews continue to repave the interstate as part of the 14th Street bridge project.

Beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, the HOV lane and left general travel lane on I-85 south and the HOV lane on I-75 south will be closed from Brookwood Interchange to 10th Street, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The closures are expected to last through 5 a.m. Monday.

“The rain last weekend didn’t allow us to finish the southbound paving,” said DOT engineer Mickey McGee. “We hope to complete southbound work this weekend, weather permitting.

The DOT is recommending that southbound motorists headed through Atlanta use I-285 instead of I-75 and I-85, and that those headed to downtown events take MARTA.

Those downtown events include a weekend series at Turner Field between the Braves and the Marlins, a Saturday night concert by the Jonas Brothers at Philips Arena and Saturday’s Corky Kell Classic high school football games at the Georgia Dome.

The Braves play at 7:30 tonight, 7 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

At Saturday’s Corky Kell Classic, Etowah plays Starr’s Mill at 11:45 a.m., followed by a 2:30 p.m. kickoff for Brookwood and McEachern and a 5:30 p.m. start time for Grayson and Camden County. The slate of games wraps up with an 8:30 p.m. matchup between Walton and Norcross.

Event congestion won’t be limited to downtown, however.

The Gwinnett Braves play home games against Charlotte at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, while the Gwinnett Arena plays host to the Sean Hannity Freedom Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday.