Inspections snarl traffic

Published 12:47 pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013

UPDATED Wednesday 3:35 p.m.

Interstate 664 northbound is clear, and the southbound side is backed up 1.5 miles, according to a Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

UPDATED Wednesday 1:45 p.m.

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The Virginia Department of Transportation advises motorists to expect major delays throughout the region as inspections of commercial vehicles continue at the tunnels.

The delay on Interstate 664 north is 6.3 miles, with a 3.3-mile delay southbound. On Interstate 64, the delay is 5.5 miles eastbound and eight miles westbound.

Motorists traveling to Richmond should use U.S. Route 460, VDOT advised. The James River Bridge is another alternative route.

Earlier: Increased vigilance at local tunnels is snarling traffic along Interstate 664 in North Suffolk.

Inspections of commercial vehicles are being done “as a precautionary measure,” according to Virginia State Police.

The State Police reported receiving a phone call concerning a bomb threat in the Hampton Roads region at 7:50 Wednesday morning. The threat included a time frame for the threat to occur, which has since expired, according to a State Police press release. No incidents have been reported.

State Police stepped up patrols within the region and initiated commercial vehicle inspections at the tunnels. Police personnel were reportedly using dogs to sniff vehicles.

“For the safety of the motoring public, the inspections will continue throughout the day due to it being the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks,” the release stated.

The threat remains under investigation.

At 10:30 a.m., Interstate 664 northbound was backed up more than two miles to the 164 Western Freeway. There was no reported backup coming toward Suffolk.

Backups at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel were even worse, at four miles eastbound and six miles westbound.