If you are thinking about leaving Hampton Roads, today is the day to do it. The earlier in the day, the better, too. Most people automatically think to take I-64 WB to Richmond, but there are half a dozen other ways you can take to make it out of the area. Take the roadway closest to where you are.
*If you live in Virginia Beach, consider Routes 460 or 58. Route 460 will take you toward Suffolk, where it turns into Pruden Blvd. That will take you to Petersburg. You will see the first sign posted for Route 58 on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach. That will take you toward Raleigh.
*Route 10 West is a good one for some folks in Portsmouth. It will take you out past Smithfield toward Surry.
*If you live in Poquoson, or the Churchland area of Portsmouth, 17 North, toward Fredericksburg, is your best bet.
*If you’re in Hampton, take Route 60, which is Warwick Blvd., to Richmond.
*If you live on the Eastern Shore, take Route 13 North toward Salisbury, MD.
*If you’re in Norfolk, take I-64 WB to Richmond.
In the case of a mandatory evacuation, the Governor, and only the Governor, can order a lane reversal on I-64. That means all traffic from Norfolk to Richmond will travel west. That will start on the Norfolk side of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel at Exit 273, which is 4th View Street. During a lane reversal, the Northbound lanes of the Monitor Merrimac will close at Exit 8. That’s College Drive.
Today, we have also heard the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry will be shutting down operations and moving boats to Richmond ahead of Irene. Service will be suspended at 10 a.m.
And, keep in mind as you make travel plans, we are saying leaving earlier is better because the winds will affect the tunnels and how long they will be allowed to stay open. VDOT will close bridges and tunnels when they’re unsafe due to debris or wind. Generally speaking, the Midtown Tunnel will close when winds reach 39 miles an hour sustained. The Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel, James River Bridge, Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and the Coleman Bridge close when winds reach 45 miles an hour sustained.
There are plenty of places at wavy.com where you can get information to plan your trip. Right there on the homepage, you can find all of our extensive Hurricane Irene coverage. Be safe!!