VDOT is lifting most lane closures to make end-of-year travel more delightful

Traffic tools to plan ahead for holiday travel

Holiday Travel
Holiday Travel

RICHMOND, Va. – To help make end-of-year holiday travel more enjoyable, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will be suspending many highway work zones and lifting most lane closures on interstates and other major roads in Virginia from noon on Friday, Dec. 22 until noon on Tuesday, Dec. 26 and from noon on Friday, Dec. 29 until noon on Tuesday, Jan. 2.  

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

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

TRAVEL TRENDS MAP HELPS PREDICT PEAK CONGESTION 

VDOT's online, interactive travel trends map shows peak congestion periods anticipated on Virginia interstates during the upcoming Christmas and New Year holiday period. Click on the link Christmas trend or New Year trend to toggle between the periods of travel influenced by these holidays.  

Based on pre-pandemic and the last two year's travel patterns, periods of heavy congestion are most likely to occur from mid-morning to evening on Friday and Saturday before Christmas, as well as Tuesday through Thursday the following week due to a combination of holiday and commuter traffic before the New Year. Some notable areas are: 

  • 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. However, based on the general traffic shifts in the post pandemic period, heavy congestion may still be expected during the periods mentioned above in the Fredericksburg area. 
  • I-395 northbound and southbound in the Arlington area is expected to be busy throughout the holiday period. 
  • I-77 northbound and southbound near the Big Walker Tunnel is expected to have heavy traffic in the morning hours of Friday before Christmas. 
  • Hampton Roads area: Heavier congestion is possible on I-64 due to lane and shoulder closures related to various construction activities including Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT). 

PLAN AHEAD WITH VDOT 511: REAL-TIME TRAFFIC INFO AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

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 AND OTHER INFORMATION

  • All rush-hour tolls on the I-66 Express Lanes Inside the Beltway will be lifted on Monday, Dec. 25 and Monday, Jan. 1. 
  • 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 AND OTHER INFORMATION

  • I-64/I-264/I-564 HOV Diamond Lanes and 64 Express Lanes – HOV restrictions and Express Lanes tolls will be lifted on Monday, Dec. 25 and Monday, Jan. 1. 
  • Traveling through Hampton Roads –For end-of-year holiday 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.

STAY SAFE

It’s everyone’s responsibility to drive responsibly. Do your part to make travel safer for all: 

  • In the event of any winter weather threat, travelers should pay close attention to forecasts, official announcements and advisories, and should adjust travel based on conditions 
  • Keep an emergency preparedness kitin your vehicle in case of a breakdown in the cold 
  • Buckle up and ensure passengers and car seats are secured  
  • 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 

Beginning July 1, 2023, Virginia's 'Move Over' law expanded 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.

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).

Last updated: July 11, 2024

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