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Travel Time Maps Help Drivers Plan for Memorial Day Exodus

By Potomac Local May 22, 2014 1:00 pm

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Commuters use the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-95 in Woodbridge. (Uriah Kiser/PotomacLocal.com)

Commuters use the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-95 in Woodbridge. (Uriah Kiser/PotomacLocal.com)

Nearly 1 million people will hit the roads this Memorial Day weekend, and AAA Mid-Atlantic wants you to make sure your car is ready for travel.

“With approximately 811,000 Washington Metro area residents expected to travel by car during the holiday, many motorists could unfortunately be left stranded away from home this weekend if they haven’t properly prepared their vehicles,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs in a press release. “Since this job carries with it inherent dangers, all motorists are urged to give roadside responders room to work. Slow down and or move over when you encounter flashing lights at the roadside so these highway heroes can perform their job safely.”

This weekend is the start to the summer travel season with many Washington area residents headed to the shore or the mountains. Those who are staying home will need to be ready to share the roads with an increased number of motorcyclists for Sunday’s annual Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom rally at the Pentagon and then into Washington, D.C.

In addition to back ups on area roads, this also means there will be some changes to highways throughout Virginia and in Maryland to accommodate Memorial Day travelers. All scheduled construction lane closures in Virginia will be lifted from from noon Friday, May 23, until noon Tuesday, May 27.

I-95 and HOV lanes 

If history has anything to do with it, get ready to see some major delays on Interstate 95 in Prince William and Stafford counties about noon Friday. The Virginia Department of Transportation has complied travel maps with data from the past three years to indicate when and were highway backups are the worst.

Traffic patterns on the HOV lanes between Dumfries and the Pentagon will change. Here’s the schedule posted by VDOT:

NORTHERN VIRGINIA HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE (HOV) SCHEDULE

Friday, May 23: Normal HOV-3 restrictions are in effect. Interstate 95/395 reversible lanes will be southbound starting at 1 p.m.

Saturday, May 24: I-95/395 reversible lanes remain southbound until 2 p.m. and switch to northbound by 4 p.m.

Sunday, May 25: I-95/395 reversible lanes remain northbound all day, but will be closed to regular traffic for the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Monday, May 26: HOV restrictions on Interstate 66 and I-95/395 are lifted. I-95/395 reversible lanes remain northbound all day.

More information on Northern Virginia HOV schedules can be found at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hov-novasched.asp.

Virginia Beach and Outer Banks

Headed to Virginia Beach or to Outer Banks in North Carolina? Here’s what you need to know:

HAMPTON ROADS HOV SCHEDULE, TUNNELS AND OTHER INFORMATION

Interstate 64 HOV lanes: On Monday, May 26, HOV restrictions will be lifted on I-64. The reversible roadway will operate as normally scheduled throughout the weekend.

Interstate 64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT): Motorists traveling to Virginia Beach are encouraged to use the Interstate 664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) as an alternative to the HRBT. To Virginia Beach, take I-664 south to the MMMBT. Then take the Portsmouth/Norfolk exit (exit 15A) to Interstate 264 east to Virginia Beach.

Travel to the Outer Banks: Motorists going 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/Interstate 464/U.S. 17. Keep left to continue to the Chesapeake Expressway (Route 168), and take Nags Head/Great Bridge exit 291B to the Outer Banks.

Jamestown-Scotland Ferry: The summer schedule is in effect beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The ferry schedule can be viewed online at: www.virginiadot.org/travel/ferry-jamestown.asp.

Highway Advisory Radio (HAR): Tune to 1680 AM to stay informed on Hampton Roads traffic and travel conditions and construction information.

Eastern Shore, Ocean City, Md. and Delaware beaches 

If the Eastern Shore, Ocean City, Md., or the Delaware beaches are your destination this Memorial Day weekend, the Maryland Transportation Authority wants you to know the best time to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

The MDTA offers the following travel tips for this holiday weekend and throughout the summer months:

Travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this weekend include:

Thursday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Friday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Saturday – before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.

Sunday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Memorial Day Monday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Don’t Wing It. Plan Ahead!

Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions.

Visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras at the Bay Bridge and to sign up for email alerts.

Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.

Ease your travel with E-ZPass. Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll on-line and for a list of E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations.

Know Before You Go – call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information. To view traffic cameras on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.

For toll rates, visit mdta.maryland.gov and click on Toll Rate Calculator. The current cash toll rate for two-axle vehicles at the Bay Bridge is $6.Consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 in your travel route to the Eastern Shore.

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