Heads up: HRBT, MMMBT to remain open

Inside and out of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel on I-64. (Southside Daily file photo)
Inside and out of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel on I-64. (Southside Daily file photo)

UPDATE 4:49 p.m. Sept. 6, 2019: VDOT has announced the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel will remain open to traffic and the 55 mph speed limit resorted.

“Weather conditions are generally improving throughout the region as Hurricane Dorian heads out to sea,” officials said in a news release.

VDOT officials also advised drivers continue to exercise caution when traveling during inclement weather and use 511Virginia.org for the latest road conditions.

ORIGINAL STORY: 

Starting as early as 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, a potential temporary closure on I-64 east and west at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) could be in place, requiring motorists to plan ahead and seek alternate routes, officials said.

VDOT is closely monitoring the weather conditions and may trigger the full closure based on the combination of wind and wave height forecasted early Friday afternoon. If the closure takes place, motorists can take an alternate route through the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel until the facility reopens.

“VDOT will continue to monitor the progression of Hurricane Dorian, and our area command team is coordinating with law enforcement on closures, road safety and traffic control,” officials wrote in a news release. “If a closure occurs, the HRBT will reopen once conditions allow for safe travel, and the public will be notified.”

Motorists are encouraged to limit travel during inclement weather and utilize the following tools:

  • To reach local authorities in a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
  • Residents should report any problems such as flooding, downed trees, or road hazards to VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or by visiting my.vdot.virginia.gov.
  • Statewide and local traffic conditions are available by calling 511 (dial or say nine to go straight to Hampton Roads info), visiting 511virginia.orgor downloading the free mobile app at the 511 website.

RELATED STORY: Hampton Roads has seen the worst of Dorian’s wind, rain — but still should be careful of storm surge

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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.