Some lane closures will be lifted to ease holiday travel

To ease traffic associated with Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel, VDOT is lifting most road closures during this heavy travel period.

VDOT will suspend several highway work zones and most lane closures on interstates and other major roads in Virginia from noon Monday, Dec. 24, until noon Wednesday, Dec. 26, and again from noon Monday, Dec. 31 until noon Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.
While lane closures will be lifted in most areas, motorists may encounter semi-permanent work zones that remain in place during this time.
A full listing of those lane closures can be found on VDOT’s website.

Travel-Trends Map

If you need help deciding when to leave for the holidays, VDOT has updated their interactive travel-trends map.

VDOT'S travel-trends map can help predict when congestion is expected to occur. (Southside Daily Photo/courtesy of VDOT)
VDOT’S travel-trends map can help predict when congestion is expected to occur. (Southside Daily Photo/courtesy of VDOT)
VDOT’s online, interactive travel-trends map shows peak congestion periods on Virginia interstates during the three previous Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
While it cannot precisely predict when congestion will occur this year, it can help avoid travel when roads have historically been busiest.
Based on the traffic data, the busiest times will be midday to evening on Saturday, Dec. 22 and Wednesday, Dec. 26, with the most notable congestion on Interstate 95 south. During the New Year’s holiday, the most notable congestion periods are between noon and 7 p.m. on both Sunday, Dec. 30 and Monday, Dec. 31.
Some congestion is also noted in the afternoon hours of Wednesday, Jan. 2.

Safety tips

Your behaviors impact others. Do your part in making travel safer for all:
  • If you plan to drink, have a designated driver or use a ride service
  • 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

Real-time traffic Information

VDOT’s 511 app offers information about construction, traffic, incidents and congestion as well as access to traffic cameras, weather and more.
The free 511 app is available via the App store or Google Play.
Traffic information is also available at 511Virginia.org, or by calling 511 from any phone.
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.

Northern Virginia High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) schedule

If you’re traveling further north for the holidays here are two links you should check out:

Hampton Roads HOV schedule, tunnels and other information

  • I-64/I-264/I-564 HOV diamond lanes: HOV restrictions and express lanes tolls will be lifted on Tuesday, Dec. 25 and Tuesday, Jan. 1.
  • I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT): Local traffic to Virginia Beach is 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.

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Melanie Occhiuzzo started her professional journalism career at Southside Daily in June of 2018. She has since become a storyteller for the local community with special interest in anything locally-owned or animal related. You can find her running between meetings, researching the latest dog story online or reporting on the local school systems.