Advisories For the Holidays
Thanksgiving is easy. Christmas-New Year's is hard. At least in terms of predicting when the worst of the getaway traffic will occur.
I'll predict waves of badness from Friday evening through Saturday, without anything being as bad as a typical Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving.
Same deal on the return from the long weekend. There will be some Monday night traffic and some Tuesday traffic. Nothing that's the equivalent of the big Sunday return after Thanksgiving. People have so much more flexibility at the end of December.
Lon Anderson of AAA-Mid-Atlantic gave some good advice for holiday travelers during a Live Online discussion today.
We have some travel advisories from the various transportation agencies.
-- In Virginia, short-term lane closures for construction and maintenance projects will be lifted from 6 a.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Wednesday and again from 6 a.m. Dec. 30 until 6 a.m. Jan. 3. Construction zones with concrete barriers and orange barrels will remain set up.
-- Wilson Bridge: There will be no lane closures from noon Friday until noon Wednesday. Construction also will shut down again at noon on Dec. 29 and will resume at noon on Jan. 2. Contractors are allowed to work behind barriers (except for Sunday, Christmas Day and New Year's Day) if they do not interfere with traffic.
-- Springfield Interchange: Work in the interstate lanes stops at 5 a.m. on Friday and resumes at noon on Tuesday. There will be no work from noon Dec. 29 until noon Jan. 2. Any changes to the work schedule will be posted on the project's Web site.
-- Richmond: On the I-295/I-64 flyover, VDOT says, you will encounter 11-foot wide travel lanes and concrete barriers along I-64 east between Route 288 (exit 174) and I-295 (exit 177). The speed limit has been reduced to 55 mph in this work zone.
-- Outer Banks: Outer Banks: VDOT says motorists heading to the North Carolina Outer Banks may want to take I-664 and the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel to avoid I-64/Battlefield Boulevard construction in Chesapeake.
In response to a question in Monday's Live Online discussion about what the HOV rules will be during the holiday period, here's the story in Virginia:
Restrictions will be lifted on all interstate HOV lanes in Virginia on Christmas Day and again on New Year's Day. The Reversible Roadway on I-64 will be open to westbound traffic from 1 a.m. to 11 a.m., and to eastbound traffic from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on both days.
On all other weekdays next week, the normal HOV lane rules in Virginia will be in effect.
On Route 50 in Maryland, you have to obey the HOV lane rules 24 hours a day. The I-270 HOV restrictions are lifted on Christmas Day and New Year's Day only.
Tomorrow, schedules on the Brunswick Line will be adjusted to allow West Virginia riders an early departure. Train 877, the 4:55 p.m. departure to Martinsburg, will not operate. However, a holiday extra will depart at 2:40 p.m. for Martinsburg. The train will stop at Silver Spring at 2:54 p.m. and Rockville at 3:06 p.m. The train will then make stops at Point of Rocks, Brunswick, Harpers Ferry, Duffields and Martinsburg. All other trains will operate as scheduled including the 5:35 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. departures to Martinsburg.
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