What you need to know before hitting the highway for Labor Day weekend

Posted at 11:48 AM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 11:48:55-04

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia’s Department of Transportation knows that roadways can get busy during holiday weekend. This Labor Day, they’re encouraging drivers to plan ahead before hitting the highway.

To make the trip easier, VDOT is suspending most highway work zones and lifting most lane closures on interstates and other major roads in Virginia from noon Friday, Aug. 30, until noon Tuesday, Sept. 3.

While the lane closure lift is in effect for most areas, motorists may encounter semi-permanent work zones that remain in place during this time. A full list of those closures across the state can be found on VDOT’s website.

VDOT’s online, interactive travel-trends map shows peak congestion periods on Virginia interstates during the three previous Labor Day holiday periods. While it cannot precisely predict when congestion will occur this year, it can help motorists avoid travel when roads have historically been busiest.

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, Sept. 2; HOV restrictions are not enforced on Sundays. The 64 Express Lanes in Norfolk are free of charge and open to motorists outside of normal operating hours, including Sundays.
  • I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) – Local traffic to Virginia Beach is encouraged to use the I-664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) as an alternative to the 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 – Local traffic to the North Carolina Outer Banks should use I-664 and the MMMBT to save time. From I-664 south, take I-64 west to exit 292, Chesapeake Expressway/I-464/Route 17. Keep left to continue to the Chesapeake Expressway (Route 168), and take Nags Head/Great Bridge (exit 291B) to the Outer Banks.

Ways you can stay safe if you plan to get behind the wheel:

  • If you plan to drink, have a designated driver
  • Buckle up
  • Keep your eyes on the road
  • Take a break if you are drowsy
  • Don’t drive distracted, and speak up if someone else is doing so