VDOT is providing even more to be grateful for by lifting most lane closures

Traffic tools to plan ahead for Turkey Day travel

Thanksgiving travel news release 2023

RICHMOND, Va. – To make Thanksgiving travel more enjoyable and, most importantly, safe, 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 Wednesday, Nov. 22 until noon on Monday, Nov. 27.   

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 Thanksgiving holiday. While it cannot precisely predict when congestion will occur this year, it can help motorists avoid travel when roads have historically been busiest.   

Based on the traffic data, periods of heavy congestion were most likely to occur from mid-morning to evening on Tuesday and throughout the day on Wednesday and Sunday, with pockets of congestion on Saturday near shopping destinations. 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 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. However, 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).

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 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, 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 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. 

STAY SAFE

It’s everyone’s responsibility to drive responsibly. 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 

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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