Saturday, April 20, 2024

ICYMI: VDOT Lifting Most Lane Closures for End-of-Year Travel

(Virginia Department of Transportation)

RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) said it will be suspending many highway work zones and lifting most lane closures on interstates and other major roads in Virginia over the holidays.

The suspensions will take place from noon on Friday, Dec. 29 until noon on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

While lane closures will be lifted in most locations, VDOT cautions motorists may encounter semi-permanent work zones that remain in place during this time, and should check VDOT’s Travel Advisories for the latest travel alerts in their area and around the state.

VDOT also highlighted several resources it offers to help plan travel ahead of time.

Travel trends map helps predict peak congestion

VDOT’s online, interactive travel trends map shows peak congestion periods anticipated on Virginia interstates during the upcoming Christmas and New Year holiday period by clicking on the link “Christmas trend” or “New Year trend” to toggle between the periods of travel influenced by these holidays.

Plan ahead with VDOT 511

VDOT’s free mobile 511 app offers information about construction, traffic, incidents and congestion as well as access to traffic cameras, weather, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and more. 511’s “speak ahead” option allows for hands-free and eyes-free audible traffic alerts for incidents and construction along your route. Traffic information is also available at 511Virginia.org or by calling 511 from any phone.

Northern Virginia express lanes schedule

VDOT said all rush-hour tolls on the I-66 Express Lanes Inside the Beltway will be lifted on Monday, Dec. 25 and Monday, Jan. 1. Motorists can find directional schedules for the reversible I-95 and I-395 Express Lanes, and information for the I-495 Express Lanes at expresslanes.com.

Hampton Roads HOV Schedule, Tunnels

VDOT noted HOV restrictions and Express Lanes tolls will be lifted on Monday, Dec. 25 and Monday, Jan. 1 for I-64/I-264/I-564 HOV Diamond Lanes and 64 Express Lanes.

For end-of-year holiday travel requiring water crossings between the Hampton Roads Peninsula and Southside during construction of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project, VDOT encourages motorists to use alternate routes such as the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT), the Route 17 James River Bridge, the free Jamestown-Scotland Ferry or I-95 to minimize potential delays.

Stay safe

VDOT offers several tips to make travel safer:

  • In the event of any winter weather threat, travelers should pay close attention to forecasts, official announcements and advisories, and should adjust travel based on conditions
  • Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle in case of a breakdown in the cold
  • Buckle up and ensure passengers and car seats are secured
  • Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you
  • Use your signals for lane changes and turns
  • Don’t drive distracted, and speak up if someone else is doing so
  • Drive sober and contact law enforcement if you see a drunk driver

VDOT also reminds motorists that Virginia’s “Move Over” law expanded to include all vehicles on the side of the road with flashing lights, flares or warning signs as of July 1. Drivers must now move over or slow down when a vehicle is stopped on the side of the road.

For questions or to report hazardous road conditions, contact VDOT’s 24-hour Customer Service Center by visiting my.vdot.virginia.gov or calling 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623).

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