Traffic Alert: 9/11 Anniversary Ride Will Impact Afternoon Commutes Aug. 19

Those living, working and traveling through the Northern Virginia region on the afternoon and evening of Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, are advised to begin preparing now for major road closures associated with a Sept. 11, 2001, motorcycle tribute procession.

This year’s America’s 9/11 Foundation, Inc., event is anticipated to have its largest turnout ever with over 1,800 motorcyclists expected to participate. The annual remembrance ride honors all who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks, aftermath and recovery. The ride travels from Somerset, Pennsylvania to the Pentagon, then to the site of the World Trade Center over a four-day period of time.

Loudoun County/Town of Leesburg:

The riders are expected to enter Loudoun County from Maryland at 2 p.m. with the final riders estimated to enter the county between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police will be stopping traffic at the intersections on Route 15 from the Maryland line to the Leesburg town line. Traffic from roads on the east side of Route 15 will be able to travel north. All traffic wishing to go south must find an alternate route or experience major delays.

A suggested detour route from northbound Route 15 would be to take Route 15 north into Maryland, to Route 340 west toward Brunswick to Route 17 south through Brunswick to Route 287 into Loudoun County. All traffic coming from roads on the west side of Route 15 should find an alternate route or expect major delays.

Members of the Town of Leesburg Police Department are also advising residents to expect significant traffic delays in and around the town. The ride will come south on Route 15/Business (King Street) into Leesburg, continuing southbound through the Historic Downtown. For a map and more information concerning Loudoun County and Leesburg, go to http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=3858.

Dulles Greenway:

The procession continues onto the Route 15/7 Bypass east to the Dulles Greenway. Access from the Bypass to the Dulles Greenway will be closed to traffic. Once on the Greenway, riders will remain in the far left lane. General vehicle traffic will remain in the far right lane. Traffic cones will be set up to separate the riders from general eastbound traffic as they ride the entire length of the Greenway and proceed through the Greenway Toll Plaza. Message boards will be posted along the Greenway advising motorists to proceed with caution.

Dulles Toll Road:

Intersections along the Dulles Toll Road (Route 267) and Dulles Access Road will be controlled by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Police. The 911 riders will remain in the far left lane in the eastbound lanes of the Dulles Toll Road. Heavy traffic congestion and significant delays are expected for drivers traveling to and from the airport on the afternoon of Aug. 19. Motorists should allow for additional time. For more information, please visit MWAA.com for further details about the Dulles Toll Road.

Interstate 66:

Once the riders exit the Dulles Toll Road, they proceed onto the Connector Road and enter Interstate 66. I-66 eastbound will be closed to traffic from the Capital Beltway to Route 110 southbound. No traffic will be allowed to access the on-ramps to I-66 eastbound between Fairfax and Arlington Counties. As a result, heavy traffic congestion and delays are expected on I-66 and I-495. A suggested detour route for travelers headed to the District is to take I-495 north to the George Washington Memorial Parkway or I-495 south to Route 50 east (Arlington Blvd.).

Once the riders reach Route 110 in Arlington, the Arlington County Police Department, Virginia State Police and partnering law enforcement agencies will escort the motorcycles into Crystal City. For more information about the ride through Arlington please visit http://www.arlingtonalert.com

A police escort will accompany the 9/11 motorcycle riders throughout their entire route in Virginia to ensure the safety of all motorists. With major traffic congestion expected for the 911 Memorial Ride, motorists are strongly advised to prepare themselves for anticipated gridlock in the affected regions. Alternate plans are highly recommended and drivers are advised to be patient. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will have portable message boards alerting motorists to delays. Virginia maps are also available online through VDOT at www.virginiadot.org/travel/maps-state.asp

For further information about the 9/11 memorial ride, you can visit the Foundation’s Website at www.americas911foundation.org. If you have additional information about a specific agency’s law enforcement plans, please contact that agency’s public information officer.

The Virginia State Police, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Leesburg Police, Dulles Greenway, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police (MWAA PD), Fairfax County Police, Arlington Police and Pentagon Force Protection Agency Police have been working together to coordinate a route that ensures the safety of the motorcyclists and general motoring public while attempting to minimize traffic congestion and delays.