Kelly Hannon 540-374-3344

May 25, 2010

Emergency response remains priority through three-day holiday weekend

Barrel removalRICHMOND - The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has lifted lane restrictions on interstates, primary routes and other major highways in preparation for Memorial Day holiday weekend travel.

“While this weekend historically marks the start of the busy summer travel season, the traveling public should be assured that public safety is VDOT’s primary focus,” said Greg Whirley, acting VDOT commissioner. “Employees assigned to critical operations and emergency response will be on duty and prepared to respond, if necessary.”

In addition, VDOT will open travel lanes temporarily closed because of construction or maintenance work beginning noon Friday, May 28, through noon Tuesday, June 1, for holiday travelers. 

Construction zones with concrete barriers and orange barrels will remain in place.  

Holiday travelers are reminded that Virginia has two laws to keep vehicles moving safely and smoothly around traffic incidents. These are the “Move Over” and “Move It” laws.

Virginia’s 'Move Over' Law

The “Move Over” law states that when approaching a stationary vehicle displaying flashing, blinking or alternating blue, red or amber light or lights, drivers must yield the right of way by changing lanes into a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle. 

If changing lanes would be unreasonable or unsafe, drivers should proceed with due caution past the vehicle and maintain a safe speed for highway conditions.

A single violation of the “Move Over” law is punishable as a traffic infraction. Subsequent violations may be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

Virginia’s 'Move It' Law

If you’re in a fender bender with no injuries and you can move your vehicle, move it from the travel lanes – it’s the law. 

When you leave your vehicle on the road after a crash, you add to traffic backups, which then may cause other more serious crashes in terms of property damage and personal injury. 

If you are in a crash, check first for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. 

If no one is injured and traffic is blocked, move the vehicles, when possible, to the nearest safe location, then call 911.

VDOT and other state public-safety agencies ask motorists to take the Highway Safety Challenge by doing the following while on the road:

  • Buckle up (a recent state survey shows that more than 80 percent of Virginians use their seat belts)                               
  • Avoid distractions/No texting while driving – it’s the law!
  • Share the road
  • Drive drug- and alcohol-free
  • Obey speed limits

Virginia is part of the E-ZPass electronic toll-collection network. E-ZPass customers can use their transponders at toll facilities in 13 states including Virginia.  For more information on E-ZPass Virginia, visit

Finally, while planning your trip, remember to call 511 or visit for the latest traffic and travel information throughout Virginia.

The following work zones around Virginia may affect your travel plans:

Bristol District

Interstate 77 and Interstate 81 overlap (Wythe County): High traffic volumes could slow or stop vehicles through this eight-mile section.

Route 23 Crossover Project (Wise County): All traffic on Route 23 at J.W. Adams Combined School has been shifted to the northbound lanes because of the construction of a crossover at the school. Concrete barriers separate single-lane traffic with a 14-foot width restriction. Speed limit is 45 mph.

Hampton Roads District

Interstate 64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT): Motorists traveling to Virginia Beach are encouraged to use the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) as an alternative to the HRBT. To Virginia Beach, take I-664 south to the MMMBT. Then take the Portsmouth/Norfolk exit (exit 15A) to I-264 east to Virginia Beach.

Interstate 64 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes: On Monday, May 31, HOV restrictions will be lifted on I-64. The reversible roadway will be open to all westbound

traffic from 1 a.m. until 11 a.m. and then to all eastbound traffic from 1 p.m. until 11 p.m.  HOV reversible lane directions may shift throughout the three-day weekend depending on road conditions and traffic volumes.

Interstate 664: As part of a long-term paving project, motorists should expect lane and shoulder closures:

  • I-664 North: Motorists should expect left shoulder closures at the Aberdeen Road Bridge for median barrier construction through June 24. 
  • I-664 South: Motorists should expect a left shoulder and left lane closure at the Aberdeen Road Bridge for median barrier construction through June 24. 

Additional lane closures may be necessary in this area from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Travel to the Outer Banks, NC: Motorists going to the Outer Banks should use Interstate 664 and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel to save time. From I-664 south, take I-64 west to exit 292, Chesapeake Expressway/I-464/Route 17. Keep left to continue to the Chesapeake Expressway (Route 168), and take Nags Head/Great Bridge exit 291B to the Outer Banks.

Jamestown-Scotland Ferry: The summer schedule is in effect beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The ferry schedule is at

Lynchburg District

Route 29 Bridge over Route 659 (Amherst County): One lane traffic, 11-foot lane width, speed limit 55 mph. Signs, concrete barriers and other traffic control devices in use. Project completion date Oct. 14, 2010.

Route 670 at Bear Garden Creek (Buckingham County): Closed for bridge replacement.

Route 699 at Hills Creek (1340-706) (Campbell County): Rehabilitation project, one lane traffic, 12-foot lane width. Signs, barriers and signals in use. Estimated completion date June 30, 2010.

Route 6 at Cove Creek (632-639) (Nelson County):  Bridge rehabilitation project. Signs, signals and barriers in use. Traffic restricted to a single nine-foot-wide lane. Project completion date Oct. 21, 2010.

Route 56 (697-666) (Nelson County): Bridge rehabilitation project. Traffic restricted to a single 10-foot-wide lane. Signs, barriers and signals in use. Estimated completion date Nov. 12, 2010.

Route 56 (752-680) (Nelson County): Bridge rehabilitation project. Signs and flaggers will assist motorists. Temporary lane closures. Estimated completion date Nov. 12, 2010.

Route 739 at Tye River (662-735) Nelson County: Bridge rehabilitation project. Traffic restricted to single nine-foot-wide lane. Signs and flaggers in use. Project completion date July 12, 2010.

Northern Virginia District

Interstate 95/395 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes:

  • The I-95/I-395 HOV lanes will run southbound from noon Friday, May 28, until 2 p.m. Saturday, May 29. The HOV lanes will run northbound from 4 p.m. Saturday, May 29, until 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 1.
  • The I-95/395 HOV lanes will be closed from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Sunday, May 30, for the Rolling Thunder rally. No HOV restrictions on Monday, May 31.

Salem District

Route 58 (Carroll County): Bypass construction has reduced Route 58 to one lane in each direction just west of Hillsville. Speed limit is 35 mph.

Route 220 (Henry County): Traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction on Route 220 near Bassett Forks because of concrete median construction at Dyer Street intersection. The left northbound lane and the left southbound lane are closed.

Staunton District

Churchville Avenue (Route 250/Staunton): The eastbound lane of Churchville Avenue is closed from North Augusta Street (Route 11) to Albemarle Avenue because of road reconstruction. Westbound lane will remain open to traffic during construction. North Central Avenue is closed to through traffic for installation of utilities, crosswalk and paving operations. North Central Avenue is open to local businesses from Pump Street to Churchville Avenue. No left turn will be allowed from Churchville Avenue onto North Lewis Street. North Lewis Street is open to northbound traffic only. Motorists should follow posted detour.

Rich Patch Road (Route 616/Karnes Creek): Single-lane traffic in place because of a box culvert replacement.

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