Tamara Rollison 804-786-2715
May 18, 2012
VDOT PREPARES FOR SUMMER TRAVEL SEASON
Lane closures will be lifted over the Memorial Day holiday weekend
RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is equipping motorists with new traffic information tools for Memorial Day weekend and is clearing the way for holiday travel by lifting work-zone lane closures.
VDOT will suspend lane closures on Virginia interstates and roadways from noon Friday, May 25, 2012, to noon Tuesday, May 29, 2012.
As residents and visitors travel the state over Memorial Day weekend, they can obtain real-time updates from VDOT on travel times, congestion and incidents.
New mobile tools to be announced May 23 will provide motorists with information that shows and describes what lies along the way to their destination, helping them time their journey, foresee obstacles and take a suggested alternate route.
“VDOT has tremendous firsthand knowledge of what is unfolding on our roadways through our five traffic operations centers, positioned in each geographic region of the state,” said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley.
“Technology has allowed us to share this information with the public in new and innovative ways,” Whirley said. “We want to be travelers’ first choice for credible, instant traffic data that reflects and forecasts their experience on the road and helps them make an informed decision.”
New Travel Tools
This summer, VDOT has two new methods for motorists to receive traffic reports on the go. New or refreshed tools will alert motorists to congestion or incidents and provide alternate routes.
- While 511Virginia.org and the 511 phone system already provide real-time information about traffic incidents and congestion, VDOT is launching the next-generation of the phone and web-based system with new features.
- Motorists will be able to receive personalized traffic information, based on their location and route.
- Easier-to-use menus and navigation will help motorists obtain information faster, with enhanced voice recognition software.
- More details will be announced on Wednesday, May 23.
Reach the Beach
- Headed to an oceanside destination? VDOT wants travelers to be updated on travel times along the interstates leading to Virginia’s beaches before they reach a decision point at an exit ramp.
- Look for new “Reach the Beach” signs and travel times to be posted at key locations around Virginia, with suggestions for alternate routes.
- More details on how to “Reach the Beach” will be announced on May 23.
Additional Travel Resources
Lane closures and crash reports available on 511Virginia also are communicated through VDOT’s Twitter accounts, targeted for different parts of Virginia and specific interstate corridors, such as Interstate 95 or Interstate 81.
Visit www.VirginiaDOT.org for a list of VDOT’s Twitter accounts and how to subscribe.
VDOT’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VirginiaDOT is updated with statewide travel and transportation news.
To report a road hazard or to get answers to your transportation question, call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623) around the clock.
For information about major long-term construction projects on Virginia’s interstates and primary roads, visit http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/major_road_construction_projects.asp for VDOT’s “Road Construction Ahead” map.
Virginia belongs to the E-ZPass electronic toll-collection network. E-ZPass customers can use their transponders at toll facilities in Virginia and 13 other states. For more information on E-ZPass, visit www.ezpassva.com.
Move Over Law
Virginia’s Move Over Law requires motorists to move to the next lane, when possible, when approaching vehicles with flashing blue, red or amber lights stopped on the side of the road.
More information about the Move Over law and other rules of the road is available at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/move_it_move_over.asp.
NORTHERN VIRGINIA HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE (HOV) SCHEDULE:
- HOV restrictions on Interstate 66 and Interstate 95/395 will be lifted on Monday, May 28.
- Northbound/southbound schedule for the I-95/395 reversible lanes: Lanes will be southbound from 1 p.m., Friday, May 25, until 2 p.m. Saturday, May 26; and northbound from 4 p.m. Saturday, May 26, through the rest of the holiday weekend.
- Closure for Rolling Thunder: The I-95/395 HOV lanes will be closed to regular traffic from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 27, for the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally.
More information on Northern Virginia HOV schedules can be found here: http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hov-novasched.asp.
HAMPTON ROADS HOV SCHEDULE, TUNNELS AND OTHER INFORMATION:
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 28, HOV restrictions will be lifted on I-64. The reversible roadway will operate as normally scheduled throughout the weekend and 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.
Travel to the Outer Banks, N.C.: 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 http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/ferry-jamestown.asp.
Highway Advisory Radio: Tune to Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) 1680AM to stay informed on traffic and travel conditions and construction information.
WORK ZONES AND OTHER TRAFFIC ALERTS
While VDOT will lift most lane closures during the extended Memorial Day holiday, motorists may encounter permanent work zones or travel delays in the following locations:
U.S. 250: Rehabilitating bridge over rail tracks in Shadwell, just east of Route 22. Bridge closed for 10 weeks starting May 1. Detour in place.
Main Street (U.S. 60, Clifton Forge) Smith Creek Bridge replacement project: Main Street westbound from intersection of Ridgeway Street to Commercial Avenue closed until Oct. 12 for bridge construction. Westbound traffic will detour onto Ridgeway Street. Ridgway Street, both directions, will have two-way traffic. Main Street closed between U.S. 60/220 and Commercial Avenue. Detour signs through the area using U.S 60 Business and West Ridgeway Street.
Caroline/King George county line
U.S. 301, James Madison Memorial Bridge: Lane closures at bridge over Rappahannock River for bridge rehabilitation. Traffic reduced to one lane each direction.
Route 7 Business (West Main Street): Mosby Boulevard project. Construction of Route 636/Mosby Boulevard extension and roundabout. Flagger traffic control. Estimated completion May 2013.
Interstate 81, mile marker 313 to 315, both directions: In conjunction with the Route 657/Senseny Road bridge deck replacement. Shoulder closures and intermittent nighttime lane closures to install barrier for shoulder closures. Estimated completion mid-August 2012.
U.S. 250: Replacing bridge over Crab Run in McDowell, just east of Route 645 to just west of Route 654 (Doe Hill Road). Single-lane traffic with 14-foot width restriction and three-way traffic signal at U.S. 250 and intersection of Route 654. Flagger traffic control at various locations when needed. Work may take place 24 hours a day. Speed limit reduced to 25 mph. Estimated completion October 2012.
Route 128 West (Candler’s Mountain Road): Reduced to one lane to rehabilitate bridge; left turn to mall closed. Detour in place.
Mathews/Middlesex county line
Route 3, John Andrew Twigg Bridge: Single lane closure on Twigg Bridge over Piankatank River for bridge rehabilitation. Vehicles will use single lane both directions with temporary signal controlling traffic.
Interstate 81: Both northbound lanes are shifted onto shoulder at mile marker 121 for work on bridge over Route 641 (Den Hill Road). Speed limit reduced to 55 mph.
U.S. 29 southbound bridge over Rucker Run: Replacing bridge superstructure with travel lane of 17 feet, 9 inches. Speed limit reduced to 50 mph.
U.S. 340: Bridge construction over Compton Creek plus railroad and approaches, 1.4 miles south of the Page/Warren county line to 3.5 miles south of the Page/Warren county line. Daily lane closures with flagger. Shoulder closures 24 hours a day. Speed limit reduced to 45 mph. Estimated completion fall 2013.
Prince George County
U.S. 460: Traffic will merge to one lane each direction between Alden Road (Route 624) and the Sussex County line to allow crews to mill and pave the one-mile section of road. This will be a continuous traffic shift until the project is complete in July. Expect delays, particularly during rush hour and summer weekends.
U.S. 522: Rehabilitating bridge over Thornton River in Sperryville. Road closed through September 2012. Detour in place.
Interstate 81: Both southbound lanes shifted onto shoulder and a barrier wall installed at mile marker 135.5 for work on bridge over Route 642 (Alleghany Drive). Speed limit reduced to 55 mph at bridge.
U.S. 11/460: Due to road widening west of Salem, speed limit reduced to 35 mph in most of the work zone but drops to 25 mph near entrance to Richfield Retirement Community where travel lanes are narrowed for bridge work.
Interstate 81 northbound, mile marker 195.6 to 202.5: Constructing truck-climbing lane.
Interstate 81 bridges at exit 45 over Scratch Gravel Road: Delays likely during work to replace portions of bridges over Scratch Gravel Road in Marion. Traffic restricted to one 14-foot travel lane both directions.
Interstate 77/Interstate 81 overlap: High traffic volumes could slow or stop vehicles through this eight-mile stretch of interstate. Be alert to delays on northbound I-77 at the I-81 merge.
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.