Marshall Herman 804-692-2134 (office)
May 16, 2014
VDOT TO LIFT LANE CLOSURES FOR MEMORIAL DAY TRAVEL
Use 511 Virginia, travel-trend maps to plan your trip and avoid delays
RICHMOND − Construction and maintenance work on most Virginia interstates and highways will pause during the Memorial Day holiday weekend to keep travel lanes open and traffic flowing.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will lift lane closures from noon Friday, May 23, until noon Tuesday, May 27.
Travel-Trend Map Shows When, Where to Avoid Peak Congestion
If you plan to use Virginia’s interstates during the long Memorial Day weekend this year, travel patterns for the holiday for the past three years are available online to help motorists plan their departure and arrival times.
VDOT has posted travel-trend maps, with a version designed specifically for mobile devices, showing peak congestion periods from the 2011-2013 Memorial Day weekends
These maps can be found at http://www.people.virginia.edu/~seb4v/MDW2014/
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.
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.
For real-time traffic information during the Memorial Day weekend or any time, motorists should use 511 Virginia.
You can “know before you go” by getting up-to-the-minute information on traffic incidents and congestion on major Virginia roads by using VDOT’s free mobile 511 app or the 511 Virginia website and phone system.
511 Virginia allows users to view real-time traffic cameras and see estimated travel times, electronic message signs and traffic maps, which can help travelers plan their routes accordingly.
Driver Safety Tips
VDOT encourages all motorists to prevent highway crashes by following these five safety tips while driving:
- Buckle up
- Avoid distractions
- Share the road
- Drive drug- and alcohol-free
- Obey speed limits
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 need to decide which exit to take.
Look for “Reach the Beach” signs and travel times at key locations around Virginia. The signs will provide suggestions for alternate routes.
Additional Travel Resources and Information
Customer Service Center: To report a road hazard or get answers to your transportation questions, call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) at any time.
Social media: Lane closures and incident reports available on 511 also are communicated through VDOT’s 511 Twitter feeds, targeted for different regions and specific interstate corridors. Visit www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/vdot_twitter_feeds.asp for a list of VDOT’s regional and 511 Twitter feeds. VDOT’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VirginiaDOT also is updated with statewide travel and transportation news.
Move Over Law: Virginia’s “Move Over” law requires motorists to move to the next lane, if 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.
E-ZPass: Virginia belongs to the E-ZPass electronic toll-collection network. E-ZPass customers can use their transponders at toll facilities in Virginia and 14 other states. For more information on E-ZPass, visit www.ezpassva.com.
NORTHERN VIRGINIA HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE (HOV) SCHEDULE
- Friday, May 23: Normal HOV-3 restrictions are in effect. Interstate 95/395 reversible lanes will be southbound starting at 1 p.m.
- Saturday, May 24: I-95/395 reversible lanes remain southbound until 2 p.m. and switch to northbound by 4 p.m.
- Sunday, May 25: I-95/395 reversible lanes remain northbound all day, but will be closed to regular traffic for the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Monday, May 26: 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 HOV lanes: On Monday, May 26, HOV restrictions will be lifted on I-64. The reversible roadway will operate as normally scheduled throughout the weekend.
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.
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 can be viewed online at: www.virginiadot.org/travel/ferry-jamestown.asp.
Highway Advisory Radio (HAR): Tune to 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 Memorial Day holiday period, motorists may encounter permanent work zones or travel delays in the following locations:
Route 29 over Buffalo River: Northbound traffic can now travel on the new bridge. Speed limit reduced to 50 mph. Southbound traffic pattern remains unchanged until project completion in June.
Route 60 over Buffalo River: Bridge reconstruction under way with temporary signal, 25 mph speed limit and 22-foot-wide detour route. Flagging crew directing traffic during daytime hours. Traffic transitioning to new bridge. Estimated completion in June.
Interstate 81, exit 7: Altered traffic patterns for work to improve Bristol’s busiest interchange. Motorists may experience delays at peak travel times. Use alternate routes when possible.
Route 15/29 Business: Lane closure will remain in place for roundabout construction at Route 229. Expect changes to traffic pattern.
Route 37 (J. Kenneth Robinson Highway): Traffic reduced to single lane each direction at Route 651 on Friday, May 23, noon-4 p.m. for bridge inspection.
Henrico/Hanover county line
Route 360: Replacing four bridges over Chickahominy River on Mechanicsville Turnpike between Elm Drive and Springdale Road. Traffic reduced to one lane each direction. Expect additional periodic lane closures.
Route 220: Southbound left lane closed just south of Oak Level, about 0.6 mile south of Route 657 (Rockwood Park Road) for a safety-improvement project. Eleven-foot width restriction in place.
Interstate 581 and Route 220: Improving Elm Avenue interchange. Barriers in place on I-581/Route 220 both directions to reduce traffic under Elm Avenue bridge to two lanes. Traffic on Elm Avenue shifted to south side of bridge. Changing traffic patterns.
Route 11/460: Widening West Main Street to four lanes 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.