Closures Lifted, Expect Labor Day Delays
– August 30, 2012 2:30 pm
Despite an overall weak economy and a hurricane that could impact weekend plans, travelers are expected to hit the roads for one last summer blast.
The Labor Day holiday travel weekend begins Friday and nearly 800,000 residents in the Washington area are expected to travel 50 miles or more away from home. It’s a 3.5 percent increase over the number of travelers last year with many of them planning to drive, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.
They will also be pain at the pump where prices have risen more than 40 cents in the last two months. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the Potomac Communities is $3.74.
Travelers at airports, train and bus stations are also warned to expect larger the normal crowds this weekend, partially because of rain from what was Hurricane Isaac, which slammed into the Louisiana Gulf Coast this week. Remnants of the storm are expected to drench the central and eastern portions of the U.S. this weekend.
On the roads, the Virginia Department of Transportation will lift all road closures and suspend all work zones for the long holiday weekend starting at noon Friday. That means free-flowing interstate highways with no construction interruptions at least until noon Tuesday.
Virginia State Police will also be out in force again this year after 16 people lost their lives on state roads last Labor Day weekend. Thirteen people were killed in both 2010 and 2009 during the same weekend.
“With state police’s stepped up enforcement efforts, drivers are also reminded of Virginia’s Move Over law. Motorists need to comply with the law that has been in effect since 2002. It requires drivers to change to another travel lane or, when not able to, to cautiously pass emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road. The law also applies to emergency response vehicles, highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights,” said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.
Those headed planning to use the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to head to Maryland’s Eastern Shore should plan to travel before 10 a.m. or after 10 p.m. Friday to avoid most delays. Drivers are urged to mind the same drive times for the return trip on Monday.