Joe Vagi 804-371-8304
June 29, 2011
VDOT ENCOURAGES SAFE SUMMER TRAVEL
Lane closures lifted for Fourth of July holiday weekend starting on Friday, July 1
RICHMOND—The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will remove lane closures and temporary work zones for interstate and roadway projects to clear the way for motorists traveling over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Lane closures will be lifted from noon Friday, July 1, until noon Tuesday, July 5.
Permanent construction zones with concrete barriers and orange barrels will remain in place.
The week surrounding the Fourth of July is traditionally one of the busiest periods for summer travel in the United States. Motorists are encouraged to stay alert as they drive through Virginia over the holiday and expect to share the road with many other vehicles during peak times.
Motorists should wear their seat belt, follow speed limits and other traffic safety laws, and also share the road with pedestrians and cyclists.
“Arrive safely at your destination this Fourth of July by giving the roadway ahead your full attention,” said VDOT Commissioner Gregory Whirley. “VDOT is committed to keeping travel lanes clear for the public over the holiday, and we ask for your assistance preventing injuries and crashes. Start your journey well rested, limit distractions and use the safety rest areas along the way to relax and refresh your focus.”
Here are other tips to improve your travel on Virginia’s roadways:
Consider an Alternate Route
Driving times and conditions will vary over the holiday, as many travelers seek to use the same interstates and roadways to reach a destination.
Using an alternate route may result in a drive with less congestion.
In the Hampton Roads area, drivers heading to Virginia Beach or the Outer Banks in North Carolina are encouraged to use the Interstate 664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) as an alternative to the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.
Click here to see a map of this alternate route in Hampton Roads.
For real-time traffic conditions or to view traffic cameras, visit VDOT’s 24-hour travel information website, www.511Virginia.org. 511Virginia is also available by calling 511 from any telephone in Virginia.
Take a Break at a Safety Rest Area
VDOT provides 41 rest areas along interstates and roadways in Virginia for motorists to take a break from driving, use restroom facilities or purchase vending items.
Click here for a complete list of safety rest areas in Virginia.
Safety Service Patrols
Even minor incidents, such as a flat tire, can create traffic congestion for thousands of other travelers. To keep travel lanes as clear as possible and to provide rapid traffic control during incidents, VDOT’s Safety Service Patrols circulate on interstates in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia around the clock.
Safety Service Patrol members wear reflective uniforms and drive marked utility trucks equipped with amber lights. Patrols can assist motorists when they need:
- A jump start
- One gallon of gasoline
- Water for overheating radiators
- Tire changes
- Access to a telephone for tow services
- Directions and a state map
- Limited first aid until emergency services arrive
Help in an Emergency
If motorists face a life-threatening emergency on Virginia roadways, call 911 immediately.
Motorists can report stranded vehicles, vehicle crashes, and other obstructions in the roadway to Virginia State Police by dialing #77 on a mobile phone.
Motorists also can report unsafe road conditions such as debris, potholes or downed traffic signals to VDOT by calling 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623).
Remember to pull over to use your mobile phone if you don’t have another passenger in the car. Don’t drive distracted.
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.
Click here for more information about the Move Over law and other rules of the road.
While most lane closures will be lifted, motorists may encounter permanent work zones or travel delays over the Fourth of July holiday in the following locations:
NORTHERN VIRGINIA HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE (HOV) SCHEDULE:
- HOV restrictions on I-66, I-95 and I-395 will be lifted on Monday, July 4. Normal HOV restrictions will be in place on Friday, July 1, and Tuesday, July 5.
- Northbound/southbound schedule for the I-95/395 reversible lanes: Lanes will be southbound from 1 p.m., Friday, July 1, until 2 p.m. Saturday, July 2; and northbound from 4 p.m. Saturday, July 2, through 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 4. On July 4, the lanes will be northbound until 7:30 p.m., and southbound from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. Tuesday, July 5. The lanes will re-open northbound by 3 a.m. July 5.
- July 4 event traffic: To accommodate travelers attending Fourth of July events in Washington, D.C., VDOT will coordinate and adjust signal timings at approximately 116 signalized intersections along major arterial roads, including routes 1, 7, 29, 50, 123, 236 and 244, in Virginia. Signals will be timed to help move traffic into the District during the day and then south and west from the city between 9:30 p.m. and midnight.
More information on Northern Virginia HOV lanes and schedules can be found at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hov-novasched.asp.
HAMPTON ROADS HOV SCHEDULE, TUNNELS AND OTHER INFORMATION:
I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT): Motorists traveling to Virginia Beach are encouraged to use the I-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. For an alternate route map, visit http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/mmmbt_promotion.asp
I-64 HOV lanes: On Monday, July 4, HOV restrictions will be lifted on I-64. The 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. HOV reversible lane directions may shift throughout the three-day weekend depending on road conditions and traffic volumes.
Travel to the Outer Banks, N.C.: Motorists going to the 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/I-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. For more information about using I-664 and the MMMBT, visit http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/mmmbt_promotion.asp
Jamestown-Scotland Ferry: The summer ferry schedule is in effect beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The ferry runs 24 hours a day. There is no cost to ride the ferry. 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 TRAFFIC ALERTS:
I-64: Median barrier construction will close one lane in each direction between mile markers 18.5 and 24.5. Speed limit is 45 mph. Loads up to 11 feet wide can proceed in both directions through the work zone.
I-77/I-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.
I-81: Southbound I-81 lanes are narrowed and shoulders closed on two bridges between mile markers 132 and 136. The bridges are over Route 777 (Fort Lewis Church Road) and Route 647 (Dow Hollow Road). Speed limit is reduced to 55 mph at each bridge.
Amherst/Nelson county line
Route 29 over Tye River: Southbound lanes over the Tye River are closed to traffic. Northbound lanes will carry northbound and southbound traffic. Be alert to new traffic pattern and 45-mph speed limit.
King William County
Route 33: Eastbound lanes are closed to traffic at West Point. The westbound lanes are open and carry both eastbound and westbound traffic.
Route 58: Hillsville Bypass construction has reduced Route 58 to one lane in each direction just west of Hillsville. Speed limit is reduced to 35 mph. A new traffic pattern is in place that requires westbound Route 58 traffic to stop at a stop sign near Route 820 (Freemont Road). Eastbound Route 58 is shifted onto a new section of roadway starting 0.2 mile west of Route 669 (Spring Hollow Road).
Route 220: Northbound Route 220 traffic is reduced to one lane and vehicles wider than 16 feet are prohibited due to work to replace the riding surface on the bridge over Blackwater River. The bridge is just north of Rocky Mount. Speed limit is reduced to 45 mph.
Route 211, eastbound: Work on bridge over Pass Run, 4.6 miles west of Rappahannock County line. Road reduced to single 11-foot lane.
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.