RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Joan Morris 571-238-5030
joan.morris@vdot.virginia.gov
Corrinne Geller 804-674-2789
Jennifer Pickett 804-786-7432
NOVA-37980

Jan. 7, 2009



VIRGINIA PREPARES FOR INAUGURATION TRAFFIC
Motorists urged to plan ahead, expect major delays

FAIRFAX -- Virginia State Police, the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation are preparing for thousands of buses and vehicles to travel through Virginia for the Inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009, and urge visitors to know what to expect before leaving home to ensure a safe and less stressful trip.

VDOT Commissioner David Ekern on inauguration
transportation plans

“We urge motorists – whether traveling by bus, van or car – to plan their route well in advance, know what bridges and roads will be restricted and where they will park, make sure their vehicle is in top operating condition, travel with a full tank of gas and prepare for long delays and a lot of walking,” said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent.

Road and Bridge Restrictions

Beginning at 2 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, personal vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickups, vans, etc.) will not be allowed to enter Washington from Virginia.

Those driving are encouraged to seek out public transportation to access the District on Inauguration Day. (See Public Transit Resources for more information).

Personal vehicles will only be able to enter Washington by driving in from designated Maryland routes.

Beginning at 2 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, only authorized vehicles – emergency vehicles, buses, taxis, and for-hire limos and car services – will be permitted to travel northbound on Interstate 395 and eastbound on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway/Interstate 495.

All other traffic heading to Washington on Interstate 95 will be diverted at the Springfield interchange (exits 170B and 170C) onto I-495 North (Inner Loop) or I-495/I-95 East (Outer Loop).

All general traffic traveling eastbound on I-66 and toward Washington on the Dulles Toll Road will also be diverted to the Capital Beltway/I-495.
 
Only authorized vehicles will be allowed to cross the 14th Street Bridge, Roosevelt Bridge and Key Bridge, all of which lead from Virginia into Washington, D.C.

The Memorial Bridge and Chain Bridge will be open to pedestrians only.
 
To augment patrols and expedite emergency response along Interstates 95, 66 and 495, Virginia State Police will be bringing in several hundred troopers from around the state to the Northern Virginia region.

Increases in manpower and resources will begin Monday, Jan.19, and continue through Wednesday, Jan. 21.

I-95/395 HOV Schedule

  • From 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, until 3 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, the I-395/95 HOV lanes will be northbound for vehicles carrying three or more people (HOV-3).

     
  • From 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, only buses and authorized vehicles will be permitted to use the I-95/395 HOV lanes from Route 234/Dumfries to Washington.

     
  • The I-95/395 HOV lanes will open to HOV-3 traffic at 5 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21.

     
  • The I-95/395 HOV lanes will be open southbound for HOV-3 vehicles from 8 p.m. Tuesday, January 20, until 3 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, and from 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, until 9 p.m., or later.

I-66, Dulles Toll Road and Dulles Connector Road HOV Schedule

  • From 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, until 3 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, HOV-2 will be in effect eastbound.

     
  • From 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, only buses and authorized vehicles will be allowed to use the eastbound HOV lanes.

     
  • From 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, until 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, HOV-2 will be in effect westbound.
  •  

VDOT will help motorists by:

  • Pre-treating ramps, bridges and critical locations on highways and major commuter routes with anti-icing chemicals regardless of the forecast. Major commuter lots in Northern Virginia will also be pre-treated.

  • Suspending all lane closures in Virginia for construction or maintenance work on Interstates 66, 95, 395 and 495.

    In addition, lane closures will be suspended on heavily traveled roads in Northern Virginia, including Routes 1, 7, 28, 50, 234, 236, the Dulles Toll Road, Fairfax County Parkway and Prince William Parkway.

  • This restriction will be in effect from Friday, Jan. 16, until noon, Wednesday, Jan. 21.

  • Providing portable toilets at the I-66 and I-95 rest areas in Northern Virginia and Fredericksburg.

     
  • Doubling the number of safety service patrols on the interstates on Jan. 20. Forty patrollers will be pre-positioned and available to assist stranded motorists and provide traffic control.

    The patrol wears bright, highly visible uniforms and drives specially equipped pickup trucks.


  • Re-timing traffic signals on major routes as needed to keep traffic moving as best possible.
  •  
  • Staging seven wreckers at locations along interstates to remove disabled vehicles.


Motorists can stay informed by:

  • Calling 511 from a land line or a cell phone for the latest traffic and travel information. Drivers are reminded to only dial 911 or #77 on a cellular phone in emergency situations.
     
  • Tuning into Virginia’s highway advisory radio for information on delays and possible detours due to accidents or congestion.

  • Getting the latest traffic conditions and travel times on overhead and roadside message signs on Interstates 95, 495, 66 and 81, and Route 29.

  • Carrying an emergency kit in their vehicles that includes:
     
    • An ice scraper and brush
    • Wiper fluid
    • Blankets
    • Extra-warm clothing
    • A bag of sand or cat litter
    • Flashlight and cell phone, with extra batteries for each
    • Jumper cables
    • Water
    • Snacks
    • Paper towels
    • A first aid kit

Public Transit Resources

Metrorail, Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and Amtrak are primary transportation choices for travel from Virginia to Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day.

For more information on Metrorail and VRE access and availability, visit their Web sites at http://www.wmata.com and http://www.vre.org.

Currently, Amtrak trains from Virginia to Washington, D.C., that will serve the Inauguration Day events are sold out.
 
However, tickets may become available as reservations change. Visit Amtrak’s Web site at www.amtrak.com for information on ticket availability.

The commonwealth is also working with Virginia transit operators to finalize plans for bus service. Details will be available soon.

Employers in the region are encouraged to consider offering telework, flex time and/or other leave options for their employees on Jan. 20.

Inauguration Traffic/Event Resources

Visitors are encouraged to stay informed of traffic and weather conditions by checking the following Web sites before traveling:



For Virginia-specific information, log on to the Virginia State Police Web site at http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Inauguration_2009.shtm

(END)



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