Home VDOT suspends work zones and lifts most lane closures for holiday travel

VDOT suspends work zones and lifts most lane closures for holiday travel

Rebecca Barnabi
(© monticellllo – stock.adobe.com)

The Virginia Department of Transportation will suspend many highway work zones and lift most lane closures on interstates and other major roads to make them safer for Thanksgiving travel.

From noon on Wednesday, November 22 until noon on Monday, November 27, Virginia motorists can expect suspended highway work zones and lifted lane closures throughout the Commonwealth.

However, motorists may encounter semi-permanent work zones still in place.

VDOT offers resources to help plan travel, including an interactive travel trends map, which shows peak congestion periods anticipated on Virginia interstates during the holiday. Traffic data suggests periods of heavy congestion were most likely from mid-morning to evening on Tuesday and throughout the day on Wednesday and Sunday. Pockets of congestion on Saturday are near shopping destinations.

  • I-95 northbound and southbound in the Fredericksburg area: Since this map uses historical data it does not consider the recent extension of express lanes from south of Route 610 (Garrisonville Road) in Stafford to Route 17 (Exit 133), or the addition of northbound lanes at the Rappahannock River this week. Based on the general traffic shifts in the post pandemic period, with higher traffic volumes during weekdays preceding holidays, heavy congestion may still be expected during the periods mentioned above in the Fredericksburg area.
  • I-81 northbound: Heavy congestion is expected throughout Sunday on the corridor from around Pulaski to the Rockingham area.
  • Hampton Roads area: Heavier congestion is possible on I-64 due to lane and shoulder closures related to various construction activities including the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT).

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. Use 511’s “speak ahead” option 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

  • All rush-hour tolls on the I-66 Express Lanes Inside the Beltway will be lifted on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23.
  • Find directional schedules for the reversible I-95 and I-395 Express Lanes, and information for the I-495 Express Lanes at www.expresslanes.com.

Hampton Roads HOV schedule and tunnel information

  • I-64/I-264/I-564 HOV Diamond Lanes and 64 Express Lanes – HOV restrictions and Express Lanes tolls will be lifted on Thursday, Nov. 23.
  • Traveling through Hampton Roads: For Thanksgiving travel requiring water crossings between the Hampton Roads Peninsula and Southside during construction of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project, motorists are encouraged 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.

More safety tips

Everyone is responsible to drive safely. Do your part to make travel safer for all:

  • Buckle up and ensure passengers and car seats are secured
  • Travel at a safe speed for road conditions
  • 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

Virginia’s “Move Over” law expanded July 1, 2023 to include all vehicles on the side of the road with flashing lights, flares or warning signs. Drivers must now move over or slow down when a vehicle is stopped on the side of the road.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.