Marshall Barnhill 804-692-2134 (office)
Tamara Rollison 804-786-2715 (office)
May 22, 2013
VDOT TO LIFT LANE CLOSURES FOR MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
Past trends can help motorists plan for holiday travel before getting on the road.
RICHMOND – To reduce congestion and add lane capacity, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will suspend most highway construction and maintenance work zones on interstates and other roads over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Lane closures will be lifted from noon Friday, May 24, 2013, to noon Tuesday, May 28, 2013.
Past Traffic Patterns Predict Peak Holiday Congestion
This year, motorists can plan their arrival and departure times over the Memorial Day holiday weekend by using past traffic patterns.
VDOT has posted maps online, with a version designed specifically for mobile devices, that show peak congestion periods on Virginia interstates over the three previous Memorial Day weekends (2010-2012).
These travel trend maps can be found at: http://www.people.virginia.edu/~seb4v/MDW/.
The maps indicate varying amounts of interstate traffic by time of day, using red for heavy congestion, yellow for moderate congestion and green for little or no congestion.
To use the map, slide the button along the date bar at the top of the map to update predicted traffic information at half-hour intervals between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. for each day. You also can zoom and pan to specific areas of the state.
Based on the historic traffic data, periods of heavy congestion have occurred on past Memorial Day weekends on:
- Interstate 95 southbound between Lorton and Fredericksburg on Friday afternoon through Saturday morning
- Interstate 95 northbound between Interstate 295 in Richmond and Doswell, and between Thornburg and Dumfries, on Monday afternoon and evening
- Interstate 64 eastbound between Interstate 664 and Willoughby Spit on Friday and Saturday afternoons
- Interstate 64 westbound between Granby Street and Willoughby Spit on Friday and Monday afternoons
- Interstate 81 northbound between Lexington and Fairfield on Monday afternoon
While this information indicates trends for delays during the most recent Memorial Day holiday weekends, it cannot precisely predict congestion levels for this year’s travel period.
511Virginia.org and the 511 mobile app provide free, real-time information about traffic incidents and congestion on Virginia roadways for motorists on the go.
Before you start your trip this holiday, sign up to receive personalized alerts from 511Virginia on your mobile device, based on your planned travel route.
Users can view real-time traffic cameras, see estimated travel times, electronic message signs and traffic maps.
Click Here to sign up for 511Virginia. On the 511Virginia homepage, click on the “My 511” heading.
In addition, motorists can also download the VDOT 511 free mobile apps for Android and Apple devices, including tablets. They can also call the 511 phone service from any phone in Virginia to access the system.
More Travel Resources
Reach the Beach
- Headed to an oceanside destination? VDOT wants travelers to have updated travel times along interstates leading to Virginia’s beaches before they have to make a decision on which exit to take.
- Look for “Reach the Beach” signs and travel times at key locations around Virginia, with suggestions for alternate routes.
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 800-FOR-ROAD (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:
Friday, May 24: Normal HOV-3 restrictions are in effect. Interstate 95/395 reversible lanes will be southbound starting at 1 p.m.
Saturday, May 25: I-95/395 reversible lanes remain southbound until 2 p.m. and switch to northbound by 4 p.m.
Sunday, May 26: I-95/395 reversible lanes remain northbound all day, but will be closed to regular traffic for the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Monday, May 27: HOV restrictions on Interstate 66 and I-95/395 are lifted. I-95/395 reversible lanes remain northbound all day.
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 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.
I-64 HOV lanes: On Monday, May 27, HOV restrictions will be lifted on I-64. The reversible roadway will operate as normally scheduled throughout the weekend.
Travel to the Outer Banks: Motorists going to the North Carolina Outer Banks should use I-664 and the MMMBT 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 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) 1680 AM to stay informed on Hampton Roads 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:
Interstate 81: Route 614 bridge over I-81, exit 168 (Arcadia). Traffic at interchange will not be able to cross over I-81. Detour in place for local traffic.
Caroline/King George county line
U.S. 301, James Madison Memorial Bridge: Lane closures at bridge over Rappahannock River for maintenance. Traffic reduced to one lane each direction.
U.S. 29 North Bypass: Work on two bridges will result in an 11-foot width restriction and changes in traffic pattern. Signs, barrels and concrete barrier will direct motorists through the work zone.
Mathews/Middlesex county line
Route 3, John Andrew Twigg Bridge: Single lane closure on Twigg Bridge over Piankatank River for maintenance. Vehicles will use single lane both directions with temporary signal controlling traffic.
Interstate 81:Constructing truck-climbing lane, southbound, mile markers 125 to 120. Expect changing traffic patterns.
Route 11/U.S. 460: Widening West Main Street from Salem City limits to Route 830 (Technology Drive). Expect changing traffic patterns. Speed limit 35 mph.
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.