RICHMOND — To maximize all available travel lanes over the Thanksgiving travel period, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will suspend lane closures statewide from noon Wednesday, Nov. 23, until noon Monday, Nov. 28.
The days before and after Thanksgiving traditionally have the highest concentration of vehicle traffic of any holiday period nationwide. Reports this year indicate more travelers are expected to drive during the six-day holiday travel period between Nov. 23 and Nov. 28.
This year, to help motorists plan the timing of their trips during the Thanksgiving holiday, VDOT has created detailed online maps showing peak travel times from previous years.
Travelers are encouraged to view this information online to plan their holiday travel schedule around expected peak congestion times.
To view the traffic data maps on VDOT’s website click here.
VDOT created the maps using speed data provided both by the agency collected from interstate pavement sensors and by INRIX collected from vehicle probe data.
Based on traffic data from previous years, the least amount of interstate congestion during the week of Thanksgiving is likely to exist before noon Wednesday, Nov. 23. The heaviest congestion is likely to occur the afternoon and evening of Sunday, Nov. 27.
Browse to http://youtu.be/20hpyPc8qPg to view a video demonstrating how to use VDOT’s Thanksgiving holiday travel congestion maps.
Historically, these locations are among those that featured the heaviest congestion on Wednesday and Sunday:
- Interstate 95 north and southbound between Occoquan and Springfield during the afternoon and evening hours, and southbound from Dumfries to Fredericksburg in the mid-morning through evening; In the Richmond area, southbound from just north of the I-295 junction in the morning, afternoon and evening hours; Northbound from just north of I-295 to Doswell in the late morning to afternoon hours; Scattered heavy congestion north and southbound through the downtown area in the morning, afternoon and evening hours;
- Interstate 95/495 Outer and Inner Loop north and southbound from Van Dorn Street to Telegraph Road in the afternoon hours;
- Interstate 495 Outer Loop southbound from the Maryland state line to Tysons Corner from mid-morning through the evening; Inner Loop northbound near I-66 during the morning, and from Springfield to the American Legion Bridge in the afternoon through evening;
- Interstate 66 eastbound from Nutley Street to just beyond I-495, and from Route 29 to George Mason Drive during the morning; Westbound from Washington, D.C., to Route 123 during the late morning to early evening;
- Interstate 77 northbound from Castleton Road to I-81 from mid-morning to late evening;
- Interstate 64 east just prior to I-81 in the morning through midday; Eastbound in downtown Richmond just prior to the I-95 northbound interchange; Westbound in downtown Richmond from Route 360 to the I-95 northbound interchange; Eastbound just prior to the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel in the morning and again in the afternoon through evening; Eastbound near the I-464 interchange from midday through evening;
- Interstate 664 westbound scattered heavy congestion from Indian River Road to the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel in the morning through early evening;
- Interstate 264 east and westbound scattered heavy congestion through downtown Norfolk and Portsmouth all day.
- Although not based on historic data, congestion is anticipated Wednesday on I-81 north and southbound in the vicinity of a lane closure and work zone at Scratch Gravel Road in Marion. Traffic engineering reports estimate that congestion could begin 6 miles before the work zone for southbound traffic, and 3.5 miles before the work zone for northbound traffic.
- I-95 northbound from Parham Road to Ashcake Road in the late morning hours, and scattered heavy congestion north and southbound from Parham Road to Route 207 in the afternoon and evening; Scattered heavy congestion north and southbound from Spotsylvania County to Springfield from late morning and growing heavier in the afternoon and evening hours;
- I-95/495 Outer Loop from Telegraph Road to the Maryland state line in the late afternoon and early evening hours;
- I-495 Outer Loop southbound from the Maryland state line to Tysons Corner from mid- morning through the afternoon.
- I-66 eastbound scattered heavy congestion from Route 50 to Arlington during the late afternoon and evening hours;
- I-81 northbound from Salem to Roanoke in the late morning through the afternoon, with north and southbound congestion extending in the afternoon through evening from Christiansburg to Danville; North and southbound along the I-77 overlap between Wytheville and Fort Chiswell during the afternoon to late evening; Southbound from Stuarts Draft to Buena Vista in the late morning, extending as far north as Staunton during the evening; Northbound from Buena Vista to Fairfield in the late morning, and extending further south to Glasgow through the afternoon; North and southbound through the downtown Harrisonburg area during the evening hours;
- I-77 north and southbound from Coulson Church Road to I-81 during the late morning hours; Scattered heavy congestion north and southbound from the North Carolina state line to I-81 near Fort Chiswell from early afternoon to evening; Southbound from the Route 52 interchange to the I-81 interchange.
While this information indicates trends for delays during previous Thanksgiving holiday weekends, it is not a prediction of future congestion levels.
Congestion is also anticipated Sunday on I-81 north and southbound in the vicinity of a lane closure and work zone at Scratch Gravel Road in Marion. Traffic engineering reports estimate that congestion could begin 11 miles before the work zone for northbound traffic, and 2 miles before the work zone for southbound traffic.