PIO Incident Command 757-424-6754, Oct. 29, 2012 (10 a.m.)
Lauren Hansen 757-619-4163, firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional condition updates
Motorists should use extreme caution when driving
HAMPTON ROADS – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is monitoring weather conditions at the Interstate 64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) and other area bridges and tunnels this morning. The Midtown Tunnel was closed in both directions earlier this morning.
Due to weather conditions, the Jamestown Scotland Ferry has suspended service at 10 a.m. today. Service will be restored as soon as the waters recede, allowing the ramps to be safely secured for loading vehicles.
Crews are monitoring conditions at the James River Bridge (JRB) for possible closure later this morning due to flooding on Route 17 in Isle of Wight County. “We’re watching our tunnel crossings very closely this morning,” said Dennis Heuer, VDOT’s Hampton Roads District Administrator. “We don’t plan to close area facilities unless conditions become unsafe, but our crews are on standby in case continuing flooding and tropical storm force conditions pose a threat.”
The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) and JRB can be impacted by winds, tides, and storm surge. In the event these facilities can no longer operate safely, crews will be pulled off the sites and travel would be at “your own risk” until further notice.
Rising tidal conditions may threaten the HRBT, at which time the facility will be closed and the tide gates will be lowered to protect the facility, preventing motorists from traveling through the tunnel.
Motorists are encouraged to stay off the roads throughout the duration of the storm.
VDOT is also alerting residents to road, facility and bridge impacts as the effects of Hurricane Sandy increase:
- The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) reversible roadway and gates are being monitored depending on severity of winds. If the area experiences sustained winds of 39 mph, motorists will not have access to the HOV Reversible Roadway. All gates will be closed until the severe weather passes. The HOV Diamond Lanes will not be affected by the closure.
- Currently, The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) remains open. Crews remain in place at the facility and are making preparations should the expected high tide require the facility to close.
- The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry (JSF) has been closed.
- The Route 17 Causeway to Chincoteague has been closed due to standing water causing dangerous driving conditions on the roadway.
- State Route182 in Accomack County is closed.
- The Interstate 264 east off ramp to Campostella Road is closed due to high water on the city streets.
- The Interstate 64 west off ramp to 15th view is closed due to high water on the city streets.
- The Interstate 264 east off ramp to Tidewater Drive is closed due to high water on the city streets.
- The Interstate 264 west ramp to City Hall is closed.
- The Interstate 264 east off ramp to Effingham Street is closed.
- In rural areas throughout the district, many secondary roads continue to be affected by tidal influences with minor roadway flooding.
- The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel remains at level 4 wind restrictions.
For a full list of road closures and conditions, click http://www.511virginia.org/mobile/?menu_id=conditions
Message to Motorists:
Public information sources:
- Get the latest road conditions – Call 511, go to www.511virginia.org or download the mobile app at the 511 website.
- Hampton Roads area traffic updates are available around the clock, on Twitter, by following @511hamptonroads. For general VDOT information, follow @VaDOT.
- VDOT’s Facebook page will also be updated throughout the storm: www.facebook.com/VirginiaDOT.
- General Hurricane Information: http://www.vaemergency.com or www.virginiadot.org/hurricanes
- Current road condition information: www.511Virginia.org
- Call 511 or the Hampton Roads Traffic Line at 757-361-3016
- Report downed trees, hazardous road conditions or talk to a Customer Service Representative at 1-800-367-ROAD (1-800-367-7623)
- 1680 AM Highway Advisory Radio (in Hampton Roads)