Shannon N. Marshall 804-371-6844

Aug. 31, 2009

Drivers should buckle up, pay attention for safe travel

RICHMOND – To ease travel during the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will open those lanes temporarily closed for construction or maintenance on major highways and roads.

The lanes will be open from noon Friday, Sept. 4, until noon Tuesday, Sept. 8. Long-term construction zones with concrete barriers and orange barrels will remain in place.

VDOT reminds motorists to avoid distractions and to prevent accidents and fatalities during this last official weekend of summer, as well as any time they are behind the wheel.

Virginia law now prohibits driving while sending a text or an e-mail. Exceptions are for emergency vehicle operators, drivers reporting an emergency or a driver who is parked.

Some colleges in Virginia hold classes on Labor Day, so motorists should pay close attention to pedestrians and other vehicles when driving near or through these campuses.

Drivers also should follow these safety rules:

  • Buckle up
  • Drive alcohol and drug free
  • Obey speed limits
  • Share the road
  • Pay attention in work zones

Traveler Resources

These tools can make travel easier and safer for motorists in Virginia:

Call 511 or visit for real-time traffic information, including construction lane closures and incident delays and alternatives that make travel faster and easier.

Use an E-ZPass transponder when driving through toll facilities in the 12 states, including Virginia, that are part of this national toll collection system. For more information about E-ZPass, visit

E-ZPass states are:

  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Motorists should also be alert to the following conditions that may affect holiday traffic throughout Virginia:

Bristol District

Interstate 77 and Interstate 81 overlap (Wythe County) – High traffic volumes could slow or stop vehicles through this eight-mile section.

Interstate 77 bridge project (West Virginia, Exit 1) – Traffic may back up to the northbound I-77 East River Mountain Tunnel in Virginia at the state line because of bridge construction near Exit 1 in West Virginia from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

When traffic from West Virginia backs up inside the mile-long tunnel, VDOT must close a lane inside the tunnel to keep carbon monoxide at safe levels and to maintain an open lane for emergency vehicles.

Motorists should be alert to possible traffic backups. Expected completion September 2009.

Hampton Roads District

Interstate 64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) – Work on the two-year project to upgrade the lighting in the eastbound tube of the HRBT will not affect holiday travel. Click here for more information on the project.
I-64/Interstate 264 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes:

  • The HOV-Reversible Roadway will remain open to all westbound traffic following the reversal on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 11:30 a.m. until Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 6 a.m.

  • Restrictions on HOV-2 diamond lanes are lifted on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7.

Travel to the Outer Banks – Motorists going to the Outer Banks should use Interstate 664 and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel to save time.

From Interstate 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 exit 291B, Nags Head/Great Bridge, to the Outer Banks.

Jamestown-Scotland Ferry – The summer schedule is in effect through Labor Day. Click here for ferry schedule.

Lynchburg District

Route 15 over Route15/360 Bypass (Charlotte County) – One lane controlled by signal for bridge rehabilitation.

Route 15 over Route 460 (Prince Edward County) – Road restricted to one 11-foot lane in work zone during bridge rehabilitation.

Route 29 Business over Williams Creek (Amherst) – Bridge rehabilitation will cause lane closure. Signal will assist motorists through work zone.

Route 29 Expressway over James River (Lynchburg) – Northbound and southbound lane closures for paving operations and work on concrete median and retaining wall.

Route 45 between routes 611 and 614 (Cumberland County) – Work zone has 35 mph speed limit. Only one traffic lane open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday with flaggers and pilot vehicles assisting during construction.

Route 92 over Staunton River (Charlotte County) – Bridge closed indefinitely at Charlotte/Halifax county line.

Route 602 between routes 889 and 737 (Halifax County) – Road closed for bridge replacement. Detour in place.

Route 707 (Charlotte County) – Road closed because of fire that destroyed bridge.

Northern Virginia District

Interstate 95/Interstate 395 high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes – The I-95/I-395 HOV lanes will run southbound from noon Friday, Sept. 4, until 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5.

The lanes will run northbound from 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, until 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8.

VDOT will lift restrictions on all HOV lanes on Monday, Sept. 7.

Salem District

Hillsville event – The annual Hillsville Flea Market and Gun Show Sept. 4-7 will attract thousands of visitors, so motorists should prepare for congestion. Construction related to the new Route 58 Bypass (see next two items) and the Route 52 bridge replacement also will cause delays. Click here for more information.

Route 58 (Carroll County) – Drainage structure installation has reduced westbound Route 58 to one lane near Woodlawn.

Route 58 (Carroll County) – Bypass construction has reduced Route 58 to one lane in each direction just west of Hillsville. Speed limit reduced to 35 mph.

Route 220 Business (Henry County) – Bridge replacement has closed Route 220 Business between Route 639 and Mica Road. The bridge is located near the Route 87 intersection in Ridgeway. Motorists should seek alternate routes around the closure.

Route 221 (Bedford County) – Road widening has reduced Route 221 to one lane in each direction west of Forest. Speed limit reduced to 35 mph.

Staunton District

Route 774, Cline River Road, northbound and southbound (New Hope, Augusta County) – Work to replace a bridge over Middle River has closed Route 774 between Route 608 (Battlefield Road) and Route 775 (Craig Shop Road).

Northbound motorists should take Route 608 to Route 778 (Knightly Mill Road) to Route 775 to Route 774.

Southbound traffic can reverse the northbound detour.

Route 794, Sangers Lane, eastbound and westbound (Augusta County) – Work to replace a bridge over Christians Creek has closed Route 794 between Route 792 (Basley Road) and Route 642 (Barren Ridge Road).

Westbound motorists should take Route 792 south to Route 250 east (Jefferson Highway) to Route 642 north to Route 794.

Eastbound traffic can reverse the westbound detour.


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.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012