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Thanksgiving travel alert: VDOT lifting most lane closures for the holiday

Posted at 10:05 AM, Nov 16, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- Ahead of the busy Thanksgiving week travel season Virginia Department of Transportation officials are lifting most lane closures and suspending many highway work zones in the Commonwealth.

Starting at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday November 22 through 12:00 p.m. on Monday November 27th, most highway work zones and lane closures on interstates and major roads will be lifted.

Additionally VDOT will be offering commuters several resources to help plan their travel ahead of time.

VDOT's online interactive travel trends map is already online showing peak congestion periods anticipated on Virginia interstates. "While it cannot precisely predict when congestion will occur this year, it can help motorists avoid travel when roads have historically been busiest," officials said in a press release.

Traffic data shows that the periods of heaviest congestion are most likely to occur from mid-morning to evening on Tuesday and throughout the day on Wednesday and Sunday. But some pockets of congestion also appear on Saturday near shopping destinations.

Some notable areas of congestion according to VDOT officials are:

  • I-95 northbound and southbound lanes in the Fredericksburg area. This area has seen a recent extension of express lanes from south of Route 610 in Stafford to Route 17. But VDOT officials say they still expect higher traffic volumes during the weekdays preceding the holidays.
  • I-81 northbound where heavy congestion is expected through Sunday on the corridor from around Pulaski to the Rockingham area.
  • And the Hampton Roads area where lane and shoulder closures will be potentially leading to slowdowns on I-64.

Virginia Department of Transportation officials also want drivers to stay safe on the roads this Thanksgiving. They remind drivers that:

  1. Everyone should be buckled up
  2. Drivers should travel at a safe speed for road conditions
  3. Maintain safe distance from the vehicle in front of you
  4. Use your signals for lane changes and turns
  5. Don't drive distracted and speak up if you see someone else doing so
  6. Drive sober and contact law enforcement if you see a drunk driver
  7. Remember that Virginia's 'Move Over' law is now in effect. That means drivers must move over or slow down when any vehicle is stopped on the side of the road with flashing lights, flares, or warning signs

Drivers can also download VDOT's free mobile 511 app to get information about traffic, incidents on the roads, congestion, and more.

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for in-depth coverage of this important local story. Anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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