Jenny O'Quinn 804-225-4984
Marshall M. Herman 804-692-2134
Nov. 19, 2015
RICHMOND, Va. – With a record number of travelers expected on the state’s roads during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has several tools to help motorists plan their trips.
VDOT is suspending highway work zones during the five-day peak Thanksgiving travel period to reduce congestion on interstates and major highways. Lane closures will be lifted on most major roads in Virginia from noon Wednesday, Nov. 25, until noon Monday, Nov. 30.
Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times for travel each year, and VDOT urges motorists to plan ahead, drive safely and take a break when needed to ensure they reach their destination safely.
You can find real-time information about traffic, incidents and congestion on Virginia roads at 511Virginia.org. Download the free mobile VDOT 511 app, or call 511. To report a road problem or get answers to your transportation questions, call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) around the clock.
Travel-Trend Map Shows Historic Peak Holiday Congestion
VDOT’s online map of past travel trends shows peak congestion periods on Virginia interstates during the three previous Thanksgiving holidays (2012-2014). While the map cannot predict exact amounts of congestion for this year, you can use it as a guide to better time your travel.
Based on traffic data, the heaviest congestion during the most recent Thanksgiving holiday weeks occurred after 11 a.m. on Wednesday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
NORTHERN VIRGINIA HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE (HOV) SCHEDULE
- HOV restrictions will be lifted on Interstate 66 and Interstate 395 on Thursday, Nov. 26. Normal HOV restrictions will be in place on Wednesday, Nov. 25, and Friday, Nov. 27.
- Direction schedule for Interstate 95 Express Lanes/I-395 reversible lanes:
- Thursday, Nov. 26 – Lanes remain northbound all day.
- Friday, Nov. 27 – Lanes close to northbound traffic at 11 a.m. and will reopen to southbound traffic by 1 p.m.
More information on Northern Virginia HOV schedules can be found at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hov-novasched.asp. For information on the 95 and 495 Express Lanes, visit http://www.expresslanes.com. Drivers are reminded that they need an E-ZPass Flex (for HOV-3 to ride toll-free) or an E-ZPass to use the express lanes at all times.
HAMPTON ROADS HOV SCHEDULE, TUNNELS
- I-64/I-264/I-564 HOV diamond lanes – HOV restrictions will be lifted on all HOV diamond lanes on Thursday, Nov. 26.
- I-64 reversible lanes − Lanes will operate on the regular schedule with no HOV restrictions on Thursday, Nov. 26.
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 I-264 east to Virginia Beach.
Travel to 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/Route 17. Keep left to continue to the Chesapeake Expressway (Route 168), and take Nags Head/Great Bridge (exit 291B) to the Outer Banks.
Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) – Tune to 1680 AM to stay informed on Hampton Roads traffic, travel conditions and construction information.
WORK ZONES AND OTHER TRAFFIC ALERTS
While VDOT will lift most lane closures during the Thanksgiving holiday period, motorists may encounter permanent work zones or travel delays in the following locations:
Route 609 – Road closed for widening project. Use detour.
Albemarle County/ Charlottesville
U.S. 29 – All lanes will be open through the Route 29 Solutions construction projects. Watch for reduced speed limits and narrowed lane widths in work zones.
U.S. 501 – Replacing bridge at Route 130 intersection over James River. Traffic controls and flaggers in use.
U.S. 250 – Replacing bridge at Calfpasture River on Hankey Mountain Highway. Traffic restricted to one lane with temporary signals.
U.S. 11 – Improving two sections near Interstate 81, exits 5 and 7. Watch for delays.
Charles City County
Route 5 – Replacing bridge over Herring Creek. Temporary signal directing traffic.
Route 3 – Traffic is expected to be switched to the newly paved lanes between Lignum and Route 669 (Carrico Mills Road). Speed limit reduced to 45 mph in work zone.
Route 226 – Replacing bridge 0.3 miles east of Route 460. Temporary signal directing traffic.
U.S. 17 − Improving drainage, from just south of Airport Road near June Parker Marina to just north of Marsh Street. Traffic reduced to one lane both directions.
Interstate 81 – Reconstructing interchange at exit 310. Speed limit through work zone reduced to 60 miles an hour.
U.S. 460 – Westbound lane closures in place beginning west of Route 42 (mile marker 22) and ending at Route 730 (mile marker 26.5).
U.S. 301 – Replacing southbound bridge over rail tracks north of Emporia. Traffic detoured to I-95.
I-664 at I-64- Right lane closed from Interstate 664 northbound entrance ramp to westbound I-64.
Route 231 – Replacing bridge over Mulatto Run. Traffic restricted to one lane controlled by temporary signals.
Interstate 264 – Right lanes closed both directions between Portsmouth Boulevard and Effingham Street. Two lanes open to traffic.
U.S. 360 – Replacing bridge deck. Traffic limited to two lanes on Mechanicsville Turnpike over Interstate 64, with one travel lane each direction. Ramp from eastbound U.S. 360 to I-64 westbound remains closed. Follow posted detour.
Interstate 581 – Northbound right lane closed from 10th Street to Liberty Road approaching the Valley View Mall. Shoulders closed, barricade walls in place. All lanes on Valley View Boulevard will be open.
Interstate 64 – Rehabilitating Maury River bridge. Eastbound traffic will detour across median to westbound lanes between mile markers 53.3 and 55.3. Traffic both directions will use westbound bridge during work on eastbound bridge.
Interstate 77/Interstate 81 overlap – High traffic volumes could slow or stop vehicles through this eight-mile stretch. Be alert for 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.