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Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

(WXIA) -- This weekend will be a holiday for Georgia families in more ways than one.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has suspended construction-related lane closures on all major interstates and highways within five miles of malls and shopping districts.

This will allow parents and students to enjoy the tax-free shopping weekend without the added stress of road delays.

"The sales tax holiday is an opportunity for Georgians to save a little money during these challenging economic times," GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden said. "The department is glad to offer some relief from lane closures as families prepare for school."

11Alive Ways to Save reporter Valerie Hoff has some of the best tax-free weekend deals. Find out how to get the most bang for your buck.

Atlanta-area unemployment jumps in June

Atlanta-area unemployment jumps in June

(WXIA) -- The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta climbed again last month.

June's rate was 7.6 percent, up from 7.2 percent in May, but much lower than last June's 8.6 percent.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in June.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the increase is due to end-of-summer job loss among non-contract school workers, an influx of graduates and students entering the workforce, and temporary layoffs in manufacturing.

So far, metro Atlanta has gained slightly more than 58,000 jobs in 2014 -- a good sign for those who are looking for work.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest June unemployment rate, at 6.3 percent. The highest was 10.4 percent, in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.

Rain could cancel road projects for the weekend

Rain could cancel road projects for the weekend

(WXIA) -- The threat of rain this weekend could provide some welcome relief for Atlanta-area drivers.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has already postponed a handful of road projects, thanks to the weather.

WEATHER | 11Alive meteorologist Tracy Humphrey has your weekend forecast

Resurfacing on Interstate 20 in Rockdale and Newton counties, and concrete replacement on the west side of I-285 have been canceled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

GDOT said it plans to move ahead with scheduled resurfacing on I-20 between Douglasville and Villa Rica, as it is very close to finishing the work -- well ahead of its projected November completion date. However, rain may briefly halt crews.

Thousands vote early in DeKalb County

Thousands vote early in DeKalb County

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- More than 4,100 DeKalb County residents have already cast their ballots for the upcoming runoff election.

Early voting continues through this week. In-person voting will be held on Election Day, Tuesday, July 22 at DeKalb County's Voter Registration and Elections Office.

Visit dekalbvotes.com for more information about the election.

Roadwork resumes this weekend

Roadwork resumes this weekend

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta drivers enjoyed a break last weekend when the Georgia Department of Transportation postponed road projects for the July 4 holiday.

But now that the fun is over, the work begins again.

Crews will be on several interstates throughout the metro, working on much-needed improvements. Delays are expected in all areas where roadwork will be performed.

As always, projects are weather permitting. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms could temporarily halt or delay work.

Here is some of this weekend's scheduled roadwork:

Cobb County
* Two right southbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Paces Ferry Road and South Cobb Drive from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for slab replacement and repair.

Happy 4th of July: No weekend road projects!

Happy 4th of July: No weekend road projects!

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation will celebrate the July 4 holiday by taking a break from all road projects.

The weekend construction that has plagued drivers for weeks will be temporarily halted at noon on Thursday.

However, GDOT expects considerable delays in certain areas, especially on Friday. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to run in or watch the 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race, which will close several roads in Buckhead and Midtown. Fireworks displays and other Independence Day celebrations will also affect commuters Friday night.

An international Jehovah's Witnesses convention will be held at the Georgia Dome this weekend; 34,000 people from 14 countries will attend. GDOT said this event may also have an impact on traffic in the area.

I-85 reopens in DeKalb after 3 pedestrians killed

I-85 reopens in DeKalb after 3 pedestrians killed

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Three pedestrians were struck and killed in an accident on southbound Interstate 85 Tuesday morning.

The wreck happened shortly after 5 a.m. at Chamblee Tucker Road. DeKalb County Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said three men were trying to cross I-85 when they were hit by a pickup truck. The Georgia Department of Transportation confirmed that all three pedestrians died.

Parish said police believe the three men were under the influence when they were hit, but do not know why they decided to climb the interstate wall. No charges will be filed against the pickup truck driver.

The road was completely shut down in the area for about an hour and a half. It completely reopened at around 7:30 a.m.

For the latest traffic conditions in metro Atlanta, visit 11Alive.com/Traffic.