Shannon N. Marshall 804-371-6844, 804-517-2686
Marshall M. Herman 804-692-2134, 804-652-9689
Nov. 19, 2014
VDOT LIFTS LANE CLOSURES FOR THANKSGIVING TRAVEL
Use travel-trend map showing past holiday congestion to plan this year’s trip
RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is prepared for increased traffic that’s expected during the Thanksgiving holiday and has several online 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 highways. Lane closures will be lifted on most major roads in Virginia from noon Wednesday, Nov. 26, until noon Monday, Dec. 1.
“All travelers should do their part to drive safely during this Thanksgiving holiday by limiting distractions, obeying speed limits, sharing the road and taking breaks to rest at one of our many Safety Rest Areas,” said VDOT Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick. “We want everyone to reach their destination safely.”
Travel-Trend Map Show Peak Holiday Congestion
VDOT can help you avoid peak congestion times during the Thanksgiving holiday. VDOT’s online map of past travel trends shows peak congestion periods on Virginia interstates during the three previous Thanksgiving holidays (2011-2013). Mobile devices also can show a specially-designed version of the maps. 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.
Based on the traffic data, periods of heavy congestion on the most recent Thanksgiving weeks were most likely to occur after noon on Wednesday and after noon on Saturday and Sunday.
While the map shows trends for delays during the most recent Thanksgiving holidays, it cannot predict exact congestion levels for this year. The travel-trend map is available on the Virginia Roads website, located at www.virginiaroads.org (lower right on bottom of home page).
NORTHERN VIRGINIA HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE SCHEDULE:
- High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) restrictions – HOV restrictions on interstates 66, 95 and 395 will be lifted on Thursday, Nov. 27. Normal HOV restrictions will be in place on Wednesday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 28.
- Direction schedule for I-95/I-395 reversible lanes – Lanes will run southbound from 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26, until midnight Thursday, Nov. 27. Lanes reopen northbound by 2 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 27, and will remain northbound through 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 28. Lanes will reopen southbound by 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28, and remain southbound through 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29. Lanes will reopen northbound by 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, and continue northbound through 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 1.
HAMPTON ROADS HOV SCHEDULE, TUNNELS AND OTHER INFORMATION:
- Interstate 64/Interstate 264/Interstate 564 HOV diamond lanes – On Thursday, Nov. 27, HOV restrictions will be lifted on all HOV diamond lanes. Normal HOV restrictions will be in place on Wednesday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 28.
- 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 (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 five-day Thanksgiving holiday period, motorists may encounter permanent work zones or travel delays in the following locations:
U.S. 250 – Replacing bridge: traffic on Hankey Mountain Highway restricted to one lane at Ramsey’s Draft. Temporary traffic signal in operation.
U.S. 460 – Road improvements. Traffic reduced to one lane each direction. Speed limit 35 mph in work zone with 12-foot width restriction.
U.S. 220 – Constructing alternate turn lane: southbound traffic has intermittent lane and shoulder closures for right turn-lane work between Route 803 (Ridge Road) and Route 1116 (Rainbow Ridge Lane).
Interstate 81 – Improving exit 7 interchange: motorists can use exits 5 and 10 to avoid work zone and still access area roads and businesses.
U.S. 460 – Repairing bridges at New River and rail crossing: left lanes, closed in each direction on both structures.
Route 54 – Traffic reduced to one lane each direction between Hill Carter Parkway and Mount Herman Road.
Hanover/Henrico county line:
U.S. 360 – One lane closed each direction on four bridges. Two lanes open each direction from noon Wednesday, Nov. 26, through noon Monday, Dec.1.
Route 231 – Replacing bridge over Mulatto Run. Temporary signals controlling traffic, which is restricted to one travel lane.
Interstate 81 – University of Virginia vs. Virginia Tech football game is Friday, Nov. 29, at 8 p.m. in Blacksburg. Expect heavy traffic in the corridor.
Interstate 81 – Repairing bridge. Alternating lane closures both directions in place between mile marker 94 and 95, Monday to Thursday, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Interstate 581/U.S. 220 – Expressway may be reduced to two lanes each direction near Elm Avenue bridge.
Interstate 81 – Rehabilitating pavement. Southbound lane closures: from mile marker 132 to 125, Sunday to Thursday, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.; from mile marker 128 to 125, Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Interstate 64 – Rehabilitating Maury River bridge both directions between mile marker 53.3 and 55.3. Eastbound traffic will detour across median to westbound side of interstate. Traffic both directions will use westbound lanes. Speed limit 55 mph.
U.S. 11/460 – Widening section of West Main Street to four lanes in Glenvar area. Periodic lane closures during final project work.
Interstate 77/Interstate 81 overlap – High traffic volumes could slow or stop vehicles through this eight-mile stretch. Be alert to delays on northbound I-77 at the I-81 merge.
Motorist Safety Tips:
VDOT encourages all motorists to do their part to prevent highway crashes by following these safety tips while driving:
- Buckle up
- Avoid distractions
- Share the road
- Drive drug- and alcohol-free
- Obey speed limits
Additional Travel Tools
Lane closures and incident reports available on 511 also are communicated through VDOT’s Twitter accounts, targeted for different regions of Virginia and specific interstate corridors, such as Interstate 95 or Interstate 81.
Visit http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/vdot_twitter_feeds.asp for a list of VDOT’s Twitter accounts and information on how to subscribe.
Follow your region (511 traffic feeds):
- Northern – @511northernva
- Hampton Roads – @511hamptonroads
- Central – @511centralva
- Northwest – @511northwestva
- Southwest – @511southwestva
Follow your district:
- Bristol – @VaDOTBristol
- Culpeper – @VaDOTCULP
- Lynchburg – @VaDOTLynchburg
- Fredericksburg – @VaDOTFRED
- Hampton Roads – @VaDOTHR
- Northern Virginia – @VaDOTNOVA
- Richmond – @VaDOTRVA
- Salem – @VaDOTSalem
- Staunton – @VaDOTStaunton
VDOT’s 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 (367-7623) around the clock.
For information about major long-term construction projects on Virginia’s interstates and primary roads, visit http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/major_road_construction_projects.asp for VDOT’s interactive “Road Construction Ahead” map.
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.
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.