VDOT works to ease travel pressue

Published 3:07 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2018

This story was updated at 5:15 p.m. Sept. 11.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is working to ease travel pressures as people begin evacuating before Hurricane Florence hits Hampton Roads.

The department is working to stabilize construction sites and lift temporary lane closures to allow for higher volumes on the highways.

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The highways will experience a higher volume, but VDOT will not due a lane reversal of the eastbound lanes on I-64 on the peninsula, according to a release.

There is currently no plans for VDOT to close any of its water crossings. According to a release, VDOT will only close bridges, ramps or roads when there is imminent danger to public safety. Those dangers can be high water, structural damage and downed trees and debris.

While they hope to ease traffic conditions, they will also have incident response staff preparing for potential crashes and disable vehicles.

Tolls have also been suspended for the Hampton Roads Express Lanes until further notice, and HOV restrictions have been lifted on Hampton Roads interstates.

Ferry service for Merry Point, Sunnybank and the Jamestown-Scotland ferries will be suspended until further notice.

VDOT encourage motorists to monitor weather reports and road conditions before they travel and to take the following precautions:

  • If a traffic signal is out, drivers are advised to treat the intersection as a four way stop.
  • Never drive through water flowing across a road. It takes only six to 12 inches of water to float a small vehicle.
  • Never drive around barricades. Remember, the road has been closed for your safety.
  • Slow down when driving through standing water. Driving too fast through water could cause you to lose control and hydroplane.
  • Avoid flood-prone areas, especially along creeks and other low-lying areas. Water in those areas can rise quickly and without warning during heavy rains.
  • In the event of a flash flood warning for your area, seek high ground immediately.
  • Watch for debris on the roadway. If you encounter a downed power line, do not try to move the line. Downed trees may contain power lines. Contact VDOT or Dominion Virginia Power.
  • If involved in a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

Motorists can access more information at the following:

  • Get the latest road conditions – call 511, go to www.511virginia.org or download the mobile app at the 511 web site.
  • Report downed trees, hazardous road conditions or talk to a customer service representative – call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623).
  • Prepare for the storm and find out about other VDOT hurricane preparedness efforts – visit www.VDOT.Virginia.gov.
  • Traffic information is also available on Twitter @511statewideVA. For general VDOT information, follow @VaDOT.
  • VDOT’s Facebook page will also be updated throughout the storm. https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaDOT.