RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Tamara Rollison 804-786-2715
Tamara.Rollison@vdot.virginia.gov

CO-69921

Dec. 19, 2013



VDOT PREPARED FOR YEAR-END TRAVEL
Check 511Virginia before you go for latest travel times and road conditions

RICHMOND –  The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will suspend most lane closures over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays to reduce congestion as millions of travelers are expected to drive to their destinations.

VDOT will lift lane closures on most interstates and other major roads in Virginia from noon Tuesday, Dec. 24, until noon Thursday, Dec. 26.

Lane closures will be lifted again from noon Tuesday, Dec. 31, until noon Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.

“We want residents and visitors in Virginia to end the old year and start the new year in a safe manner,” said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley. “Allow extra travel time this holiday season as you drive, limit distractions and be courteous to your fellow motorists. I always check 511Virginia before starting a trip to see what I’ll encounter on the road ahead, and I encourage all travelers to use this online, phone and mobile tool to plan their drive.”

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

511Virginia

Get real-time information on traffic incidents and congestion on Virginia roads by using VDOT’s 511 free mobile app or the 511 Virginia website and phone system.

511Virginia 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.

Additional Travel Resources and Information

  • Customer Service Center: To report a road hazard or to get answers to your transportation question, call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) around the clock.
  • 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 is also updated with statewide travel 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 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 SCHEDULE:

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) restrictions on interstates 66, 95 and 395 will be affected by the year-end holidays.

Christmas

  • Tuesday, Dec. 24: Normal HOV restrictions are in effect. Interstate 95/395 reversible lanes will remain southbound Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 25: HOV restrictions on I-95, I-395 and Interstate 66 are lifted. I-95/395 reversible lanes will remain southbound until midnight Christmas Day and switch to northbound by 2 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 26.
  • Thursday, Dec. 26: Normal HOV restrictions are in effect.

New Year’s

  • Tuesday, Dec. 31: Normal HOV restrictions are in effect. I-95/395 reversible lanes will remain southbound New Year’s Eve night and New Year’s Day.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014: HOV restrictions on I-95, I-395 and I-66 are lifted. I-95/395 reversible lanes will remain southbound until midnight New Year’s Day and switch to northbound by 2 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.
  • Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014: Normal HOV restrictions are in effect.

I-95 Express Lanes construction: VDOT will restrict lane closures on I-95 in the Express Lanes work zone from 5 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24, until 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 26, and again from 5 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, until 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.

Additionally, there will be no daytime lane closures in the 29-mile work zone during the weekends of Dec. 21-22, Dec. 28-29 and Jan. 4-5, 2014. All overnight lane closures must be reopened by 7 a.m. on these weekends in the general purpose lanes.

HAMPTON ROADS HOV SCHEDULE, TUNNELS AND OTHER INFORMATION:

  • Interstate 64/Interstate 264/Interstate 564 HOV diamond lanes: HOV restrictions will be lifted on all HOV diamond lanes on Wednesday, Dec. 25, and Wednesday, Jan. 1.
  • I-64 reversible lanes: Lanes will operate on the regular schedule with no HOV restrictions.

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.

Highway Advisory Radio: 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 year-end holiday period, motorists may encounter permanent work zones or travel delays in the following locations:

Amherst County

Route 29: Reconstructing bridge over Buffalo River. Traffic both directions using southbound lanes. Speed limit reduced to 50 mph. Detour has a 12-foot lane width, with 16 feet between median curb and bridge parapet northbound and 19 feet between median curb and bridge parapet southbound.

Route 60: Reconstructing bridge over Buffalo River. Detour (22 feet wide) with temporary signal and 25 mph speed limit.

Charles City/New Kent county line

Route 618 (Adkins Road): Bridge closed at county line to replace deck.

Charlotte County

Route 47: Repairing deck on bridge over Roanoke River. Alternating lane closures.

Chesapeake

Gilmerton Bridge (Route 13/Military Highway): Overnight closures for bridge replacement project lifted from Tuesday, Dec. 24, through Saturday, Dec. 28, and again on Tuesday, Dec. 31, and Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014.  Overnight lane closures will occur on Sunday, Dec. 29, Monday, Dec. 30, and Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, 8 p.m.−5 a.m. The overnight weekly lane closure schedule (Sunday−Thursday, 8 p.m.−5 a.m.) will resume Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. For more information, visit www.gilmertonbridge.org.

Hanover County

Route 615: Williamsville Road will remain closed to through traffic for pipe replacement. Detour in place.

Hanover/Henrico county line

Route 360: Replacing four bridges over Chickahominy River on Mechanicsville Turnpike between Elm Drive and Springdale Road. Left lanes closed each direction. Expect additional periodic lane closures.

Louisa County

Route 15: Single lane closed both directions for construction of diverging-diamond interchange at Zion Crossroads, exit 136 on Interstate 64.

Mathews/Middlesex county line

Route 3: Rehabilitating John Andrew Twigg Bridge over Piankatank River. One lane closed on structure. Vehicles will use other single lane, with temporary signal controlling traffic, both directions.

Nelson County

Route 29: Reconstructing southbound bridge over Rockfish River. Twelve-foot-wide detour via routes 6 and 6Y, with temporary signal.

Pittsylvania County

Route 29 Bypass: Northbound passing lane over railroad and Dan River (quarter mile south of Goodyear Boulevard) closed for construction.  

Portsmouth

Interstate 264, Downtown Tunnel: Tunnel will remain open until January 2014. Full westbound nightly closures for rehabilitation will resume after Jan. 1, 2014. Motorists should still expect single lane closures at both the Downtown and Midtown tunnels most Sundays through Thursdays, 8 p.m.-5 a.m. Current lane closure information available on the Weekly Lane Closure Forecast.

Prince Edward County

Route 15: Road construction between routes 628 and 778. Expect delays, changes in traffic pattern.

Prince George County

Route 601: Robin Road will remain closed to through traffic for pipe replacement. Detour in place.

Roanoke

Interstate 581 and Route 220: Improving Elm Avenue interchange. Barriers in place on I-581/U.S. 220 both directions to reduce traffic under Elm Avenue bridge to two lanes. Changing traffic patterns. Traffic on Elm Avenue shifted to south side of bridge with through lanes restricted to 11 feet.

Roanoke County

Route 11/Route 460: Widening West Main Street to four lanes from Salem city limits to Route 830 (Technology Drive). Expect changing traffic patterns. Speed limit reduced to 35 mph.

Wythe County

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 I-81 merge.

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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: Dec. 19, 2013