Brooke Grow 757-925-1515


Aug. 25, 2011

Storm Conditions Likely to Trigger Closure

NORFOLK— The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) received updated predictions from the National Weather Service this morning that indicate Hurricane Irene will likely bring conditions to the region that will trigger a closure of the Midtown Tunnel and suspension of the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry service.
VDOT will temporarily suspend ferry service at the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry beginning at noon, Friday, August 26, 2011.  All ferry boats will be relocated to Richmond. Service will resume once crews determine the boats can return safely.  If weather conditions improve ferry operations will continue.

“We are continuing to track Hurricane Irene very closely. The current indication is that we will need to suspend the ferry service Friday at noon and shut down the Midtown Tunnel Saturday morning, between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.,” said Dennis Heuer, Hampton Roads district administrator. “We do not anticipate needing to close any other bridges or tunnels at this time, but our crews are on standby and will be ready to close other tunnels if conditions become unsafe.”
The Midtown Tunnel will not close until severe weather conditions are present at the tunnel and create a safety concern. Under VDOT’s facility closure plan, the Midtown Tunnel will be closed when conditions threaten to flood the tunnel. These conditions could include any combination of the following: sustained 39 mph winds, storm surges and/or heavy rainfall.
VDOT has adopted the criteria for the Midtown Tunnel due to the potential for flooding as a result of run-off storm water from the City of Norfolk. At this time, the National Weather Service is predicting a two to five foot storm surge for coastal and low-lying areas.

Alternate Route for the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry:

From the Surry Side:
Take Route 10 to Route 258 to the James River Bridge (Route 17). Follow signs for Route 64 West. Exit onto Route 199 toward Williamsburg. Follow to Route 31 (Jamestown Road).

From the Jamestown Side:
Take Route 31 to Route 199. Make a right onto Route 199. Merge onto Route 64 East. Follow to the James River Bridge exit. After traveling over the bridge make a right onto Route 258, then make a right onto Route 10. Follow Route 10 to the blinking light in the town of Surry.

If the Midtown Tunnel is closed on Saturday, VDOT will place signage for a detour through the Downtown Tunnel.  For more information about VDOT’s hurricane preparedness efforts, visit
For updates on ferry service, motorists can call the ferry hotline at 1-800-VA-FERRY. For more information about other VDOT maintained roads, motorists can tune into 610AM, dial 511 or visit          

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