No surprises this weekend: DOT plans to block several Connector lanes

Motorists were caught off-guard by last weekend’s massive traffic jam caused by the unannounced closure of several southbound lanes of the Downtown Connector.

This weekend, motorists have no excuse. The state Department of Transportation earlier this week announced plans to close the three right lanes of the southbound Connector from Edgewood Avenue to I-20 throughout the weekend to replace bridge joints.

Doug Turnbull in the AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB Traffic Center said major delays are expected on the Connector as well as on I-75, I-85 and Ga. 400 southbound headed into Midtown. Surface streets are also expected to be jammed, as motorists try to avoid the interstate congestion.

All road construction is weather permitting and while there is a slight chance of rain each day, any showers should be scattered.

On the top-end Perimeter, a couple of lanes in each direction are expected to be closed through the construction zone between I-75 and Ashford Dunwoody Road.

In Gwinnett County, the Pleasant Hill Road bridge over I-85 will be closed through 5 a.m. Monday as crews begin construction on the new “diverging diamond” interchange similar to the one completed last year on Ashford Dunwoody Road at I-285. Road work will also block lanes of I-85 in both directions from south of Pleasant Hill Road to north of Ga. 316.

In DeKalb County, motorists can expect a couple of lanes of I-20 eastbound to be shut down from Columbia Drive to Panola Road.

In Sandy Springs, Lake Forrest Drive will be closed between Lake Summit and Cheavaux Court for at least one week while engineers check for possible damage due to recent heavy rainfall.

Southbound travelers will detour from Lake Forrest to Stewart Drive to Roswell Road and onto Maryanna Drive, which will connect back to Lake Forrest. For those traveling northbound, follow Maryanna Drive to Roswell Road to Stewart Drive, connecting back with Lake Forrest.

The rain from Tropical Storm Andrea stayed well east of metro Atlanta early Friday as the storm churned its way up the East Coast.

Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Karen Minton predicted a 20 percent chance of rain Saturday and 30 percent Sunday.

Weekend highs will be in the mid-80s with lows in the 60s.

The Braves are on the west coast this weekend, but there will be a big crowd at Turner Field Saturday morning for the National Kidney Foundation’s annual Kidney Walk, which begins at 10:30.

Other weekend events include the Peachtree Hills Festival of the Arts at Peachtree Hills Park and the third annual “Tunes from the Tombs” music festival at Oakland Cemetery.