Tamara Rollison 804-786-2715
Aug. 27, 2012
VDOT READY FOR LABOR DAY HOLIDAY TRAVEL
New video shows travel tools to help motorists plan trips, avoid congestion
RICHMOND — In anticipation of high traffic volumes over the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will suspend most lane closures on interstates and major roads throughout the state.
VDOT will lift lane closures from noon Friday, Aug. 31, through noon Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Labor Day is the traditional end of the summer travel season, and VDOT reminds motorists to be alert and share the road as more visitors and residents use Virginia roadways to reach their destinations during the long weekend.
511Virginia, VDOT’s free traffic information system, can help motorists plan their trip and avoid congestion. Drivers can view reports of congestion and incidents in real-time on mobile devices, by phone, and online at www.511Virginia.org. Please pull off the road to use this tool if you are driving alone, or have a passenger retrieve the information – do not drive distracted.
Click here for a short video on 511Virginia, which VDOT updated this summer with new technology to provide faster, more immediate access.
“Before you leave home, check 511Virginia to see what you’ll encounter on your trip,” said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley. “No motorist likes surprises on the road, and 511Virginia provides the information drivers need to avoid congestion before they get stuck in traffic. The 511 mobile app and the website show how quickly vehicles are traveling on major interstates and if there are any crashes or incidents ahead. Using 511Virginia allows you time to plan to use an alternate route, if needed.”
VDOT’s traffic information system is updated regularly around the clock. Motorists can find information three ways:
- Free mobile apps for Android and iPhone platforms, which work on both phones and tablets
- Real-time travel times on interstates and selected primary roads
- Traffic cameras streaming video at 15 frames per second
- Dynamic message signs
- 511Virginia.org uses a Google-based map showing incidents and other traffic information on the main website
- Traffic speeds are displayed for interstate and select primary routes
- Information on dynamic message signs is available
- Motorists can call 511 free from any phone in Virginia to access 511Virginia traffic information
- Improved voice-recognition interface
- Travel times are available
'Reach the Beach' Signs To The Oceanfront
Headed to the beach? VDOT wants travelers to have current travel times along the interstates leading to Virginia’s beaches before they reach a decision point at an exit ramp.
Look for six “Reach the Beach” signs and travel times posted at key locations around the Hampton Roads region, with suggestions for alternate routes.
Motorists are encouraged to use the “Reach the Beach” feature on the 511Virginia website and the VDOT 511 mobile app to get travel times to the Virginia Beach oceanfront and the Chesapeake Expressway (Route 168) to the North Carolina Outer Banks.
Additional Travel Resources
Lane closures and crash reports available on 511Virginia also are communicated through VDOT’s Twitter accounts, targeted for different regions 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) any time.
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 interactive “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 slow down and 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, Interstate 95 and Interstate 395 will be lifted on Monday, Sept. 3. Normal HOV restrictions will be in place Friday, Aug. 31, and Tuesday, Sept. 4.
- Northbound/southbound schedule for the I-95/I-395 reversible lanes: Lanes will be southbound from 1 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31 until 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1. The lanes will re-open northbound by 4 p.m. Saturday and remain northbound through 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4.
More information on Northern Virginia HOV schedules can be found at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hov-novasched.asp.
Hampton Roads HOV Schedule, Tunnels and Other Information
- Interstate 64 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes: HOV restrictions will be lifted on I-64 Monday, Sept. 3. 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.
- I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT): Motorists traveling to Virginia Beach are encouraged to use the Interstate 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 Interstate 264 east to Virginia Beach.
- Travel to the Outer Banks: Motorists going to the North Carolina Outer Banks should use I-664 and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel to save time. From I-664 south, take I-64 west to exit 292, Chesapeake Expressway/Interstate 464/U.S. 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 ferry schedule is in effect through Labor Day weekend. The ferry runs 24 hours a day and is free. Vehicles, including motor homes, are allowed on the ferry. For additional information, call 800-VA-FERRY (800-823-3779). For a complete ferry schedule, visit http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/ferry-jamestown.asp
Work Zones And Other Traffic Alerts
While VDOT will lift most lane closures during the Labor Day holiday weekend, motorists may encounter permanent work zones or travel delays in the following locations throughout Virginia:
Interstate 64: Installing median guardrail, both directions between mile markers 7.3 and 16.5. Estimated completion Nov. 30.
U.S. 60 Business/Main Street, Clifton Forge: Replacing Smith Creek bridge. Main Street, westbound from intersection of Ridgeway Street to Commercial Avenue, closed until Oct. 12. Follow detour signs.
U.S. 460: Both eastbound lanes closed near Montvale to clean up fuel spill. Two-way traffic on U.S. 460 diverted to westbound lanes for approximately 0.7 mile.
Caroline/King George county line
U.S. 301, James Madison Memorial Bridge: Bridge rehabilition will close lanes over Rappahannock River. Traffic reduced to one lane each direction.
Interstate 77 and U.S. 58, Hillsville: Expect congestion around exit 14 on I-77 and on U.S. 58 for annual Hillsville Flea Market and Gun Show. Travelers not attending the event should avoid the area.
Route 47 over Roanoke Creek: Reduced to one lane for bridge repairs. Temporary signal in place.
U.S. 13/Military Highway: Gilmerton Bridge closed 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, to 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, for bridge replacement work.
Route 7 Business/West Main Street: Constructing Route 636/Mosby Boulevard extension and roundabout. Flagger traffic control. Estimated completion May 2013.
Route 615/Creighton Road: Bridge closed over Chickahominy River, just south of Interstate 295 interchange, for repairs. Use posted detour.
Henrico County/Richmond city line
Route 147/Huguenot Road: From 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, through 5 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, crews will install beams on Huguenot Bridge. For safety, Huguenot Road/Route 147 traffic will be stopped periodically for up to 45 minutes. To avoid delays, drivers should use Chippenham Parkway/Route 150 across James River.
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/Route 654 intersection. Flagger traffic control when needed. Work may occur 24 hours a day. Speed limit 25 mph. Estimated completion in October.
Route 654/Doe Hill Road: Replacing bridge over Bull Pasture River tributary, from half-mile south of Route 617/Seldom Scene Road to .33 mile north of Route 645/Mansion House Road. Traffic controlled by stop-and-proceed sign during non-work zone hours.
Louisa/Spotsylvania county line
Route 208 over Lake Anna: Reduced to one lane for bridge rehabilitation. Temporary signal in place.
Route 128 West/Candler’s Mountain Road: Reduced to one lane to reconstruct 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.
U.S. 29 southbound bridge over Rucker Run: Replacing bridge superstructure with 17-foot, nine-inch travel lane. Speed limit 50 mph.
U.S. 340: Constructing bridge over Compton Creek plus railroad and approaches, 1.4 miles south of Page/Warren county line to 3.5 miles south of Page/Warren county line. Daily lane closures with flagger. Shoulder closures. Speed limit 45 mph. Estimated completion fall 2013.
Interstate 81: Southbound, mile marker 98 to 96, both lanes shifted to left shoulder and right travel lane for bridge repairs. Speed limit 55 mph.
Interstate 81: Concrete barrier installed both directions near mile marker 135.5 for work on bridge over Route 642/Alleghany Drive. Lanes shifted to left and restricted to 10 feet, 9 inches. Speed limit 55 mph.
U.S. 11/U.S. 460: Widening road west of Salem. Speed limit 35 mph in most of work zone, but drops to 25 mph near entrance to Richfield Retirement Community where travel lanes are narrowed for bridge work.
Interstate 81: Constructing truck-climbing lane, northbound, mile marker 195.6 to 202.5.
Route 609/Naked Creek Road: Replacing bridge at intersection of Route 603/Fleeburg Road, Page County, and Route 609. Traffic pattern shifted from existing bridge on Route 603 to temporary bridge during construction of permanent structure. Estimated completion April 2013.
Route 623/Back Road: Constructing new alignment of route 638 and 623, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Estimated completion fall 2012.
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.