Lauren Hansen 757-925-1660

HR -014

Aug. 26, 2011

Conditions are expected to deteriorate early Saturday morning

VIRGINIA BEACH – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Hampton Roads District has established an Area Command to provide regional support for the emergency response and recovery operations for Hurricane Irene.  The Area Command will be operational starting tonight, August 26, at 8 p.m.    

Currently, all travel lanes are open although there are pockets of congestion throughout the region.  Motorists are encouraged to drive carefully and should make every effort to be off of the roads at the onset of tropical storm force winds, expected in the area overnight.

Area bridges, tunnels and roadways will be monitored throughout the storm to determine their safety for use by the motoring public.  Consideration is also given to the safe operation of the facility and VDOT personnel.

The Midtown Tunnel and the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) are not only affected by wind speeds, they are also impacted by tidal influences and storm surge.  In the event these facilities can no longer operate safely, they may be closed to motorists until the storm has passed and are deemed safe for travel.

With current forecasted weather conditions, it is anticipated closure of the Midtown Tunnel and HRBT will be warranted by Saturday morning between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. As conditions deteriorate or change, additional facility updates will be given. As a reminder, the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry system is suspended until after the tropical systems subside.

VDOT will share closure information with area media outlets including radio and television broadcast stations.  Closure information will also be available by calling 511 from any telephone and online by visiting:

Public information sources:

  • General Hurricane Information: or
  • Virginia Department of Emergency Management:  1-866-782-3470 (toll free)

Current road condition information:

  • Call 511 or the Hampton Roads Traffic Line at 757-361-3016
  •  Highway Helpline at 1-800-367-ROAD (1-800-367-7623)
  • 610 AM Highway Advisory Radio (in Hampton Roads)



Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012