VDOT is clearing the roads for easier Labor Day travels

This Labor Day, the Virginia Department of Transportation is lifting lane closures to help drivers have a safe and speedy holiday.

Starting from noon Friday (Aug. 31) to noon Sept. 4, most highway work zones will be suspended and lane closures will be lifted on interstates and major roads across Virginia.

However, while most lane closures will be lifted, VDOT said that motorists may encounter semi-permanent work zones — such as the Interstate 64 widening project — that will remain in place. A full list of those lane closures can be found online.

VDOT also recommends that drivers use the travel-trends maps that provides information on peak congestion periods on Virginia roadways. Information on the maps is drawn from the previous year’s travel data, so while it can’t precisely predict congestion, the maps can give anestimate of when to avoid high traffic times.

Based on data from Labor Day weekend 2017, VDOT is predicting moderate to heavy congestion between noon and 6 p.m. Friday and Monday. Additionally, routes to Virginia Beach are most likely to be congested mid-morning to evening on Saturday.

VDOT is also warning drivers to be safe on the road with these tips:

  • If you plan to drink, have a designated driver.
  • Buckle up.
  • Keep your eyes on the road.
  • Take a break if you are drowsy.
  • Don’t drive distracted, and speak up if someone else is doing so.

For Hampton Roads, VDOT has listed a series of travel schedule information:

  • I-64/I-264/I-564 HOV diamond lanes: HOV Restrictions and 64 Express Lanes tolling will be lifted on Monday (Sept. 3).
  • I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel: Local traffic to Virginia Beach is encouraged to use the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) as an alternative to the HRBT. If traveling 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.
  • Travel to the Outer Banks: Local traffic to the North Carolina’s Outer Banks should use I-664 and the MMMBT 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 up-to-date information about traffic, the Highway Advisory Radio is available on 1680 AM. 

To report a road problem or get answers to your transportation questions, call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) around the clock.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.