VDOT Operations Center Helps Keep Holiday Traffic Moving
If you're hitting the road this holiday weekend, you'll have lots of company. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) warns drivers not to be surprised if they run into congestion on the highways, especially Wednesday night and Sunday. But help is out there.
VDOT has eyes in the skies, watching the flow of our interstates and other major roads like Route 250 and Route 29. They also have "boots on the ground" to help stranded drivers and keep traffic moving. It's all directed from the traffic operations center in Staunton.
The control room monitors the roads in 20 counties on both sides of the Blue Ridge, with a constant eye out for congestion, accidents and weather conditions. It shares information with state and local police, and VDOT's own safety service patrols.
The traffic operations center has also compiled years worth of traffic data, to show drivers the potential trouble spots over the Thanksgiving weekend.
"Some of the heaviest traffic we see normally occurs the Sunday after Thanksgiving, especially in the afternoon and evening hours," said Marshall Barnhill with VDOT Public Affairs. "That's when we see a lot of congestion. People can look on the 511 website to see where this congestion happens."
VDOT feeds real-time traffic data through the Virginia 511 website, an automated telephone service, roadside message boards, and a free mobile app, which is new this year.
To help keep holiday traffic moving, lane restrictions at most work zones have been lifted, and VDOT has beefed up its safety service patrols on interstates 81 and 64.