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Virginia

VDOT to lift lane closures, suspend work zones for Memorial Day weekend travel

Black woman travel beach
(© Drobot Dean – stock.adobe.com)

One of the busiest travel times of the year is coming up with the Memorial Day weekend, and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) wants to make your trip to the beach, mountains or beyond a safe one.

VDOT will suspend many highway work zones and lift most lane closures on interstates and other major roads in Virginia from noon on Friday, May 24, 2024, until noon on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

While lane closures will be lifted in most locations, motorists may encounter semi-permanent work zones that remain in place during the holiday weekend. Check VDOT’s Travel Advisories for the latest travel alerts in your area and around the state.

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

VDOT’s online, interactive travel trends map shows peak congestion periods anticipated on Virginia interstates during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. While it cannot precisely predict when congestion will occur this year, it can help motorists avoid travel when traffic has historically moved the slowest.

Based on historical data:

  • On Interstate 95 northbound, heavy congestion is expected on Friday and Saturday between Stafford and the D.C. line and on Monday in the Stafford-Fredericksburg area.
  • On Interstate 95 southbound, congestion is expected between the D.C. line and Richmond on Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday and Monday in Northern Virginia.
  • In the Hampton Roads area, congestion is likely, especially on Interstate 64 approaching the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel eastbound on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and going westbound on Friday and Monday.
  • On Interstate 81 northbound, pockets of congestion may appear on Monday between Roanoke and Winchester.

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 in Virginia.

Northern Virginia Express Lanes

  • 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

  • Travel to Virginia Beach — Peninsula traffic to Virginia Beach is encouraged to use the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) as an alternative to the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (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 Outer Banks — Traffic to the North Carolina Outer Banks should use I-664 and the MMMBT as an alternative to the HRBT to save time. From I-664 south, take I-64 west (exit 15, Chesapeake/Virginia Beach) to exit 291B (Chesapeake Expressway (Route 168)/Great Bridge/Nags Head). Continue south on Route 168 to the Outer Banks.

Above all, VDOT encourages travelers to stay safe. Here are some additional tips for safely navigating the roadways during the holiday weekend:

  • Buckle up every time and ensure passengers and car seats are secured
  • If you plan to drink, have a designated driver
  • Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you in case traffic suddenly stops or slows down
  • Be patient and follow the posted speed limit, and consider leaving early to allow extra time to reach your destination
  • Use your signals for lane changes and turns
  • Put your phone down and don’t drive distracted
  • Use caution as more pedestrians and cyclists are outdoors taking advantage of warm weather
  • Obey the “Move Over” law, requiring motorists to move over one lane, if possible, for all vehicles with flashing lights, flares, or warning signs 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).

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.