HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) - If mass evacuations are necessary for Hampton Roads the already busy highways, particularly I-64, will be jammed. But depending on where you live, there could be another way to go.
The Virginia Department of Transportation says it will close the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry beginning at noon Friday, August 26.
VDOT will likely close the Midtown Tunnel as well. Under VDOT's facility closure plan, the Midtown Tunnel will be closed when conditions threaten to flood the tunnel. These conditions could include any combination of the following: sustained 39 mph winds, storm surges and/or heavy rainfall.
Alternate route for the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry:
From the Surry Side:
Take Route 10 to Route 258 to the James River Bridge (Route 17). Follow signs for Route 64 West. Exit onto Route 199 toward Williamsburg. Follow to Route 31 (Jamestown Road).
From the Jamestown Side:
Take Route 31 to Route 199. Make a right onto Route 199. Merge onto Route 64 East. Follow to the James River Bridge exit. After traveling over the bridge make a right onto Route 258, then make a right onto Route 10. Follow Route 10 to the blinking light in the town of Surry.
Alternate Route for the Midtown Tunnel:
VDOT will place signage for the detour through the Downtown Tunnel.
An accident earlier this week shut down the I-64 westbound tube of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel for almost five hours.
Lauren Hansen with the Virginia Department of Transportation said, "Once one accident happens in one of our crossings, it really impacts all the other crossings in the area."
But with some early planning you can avoid back-ups resulting from a possible evacuation.
"You could use some of the city routes to get to the routes out of town. There's 460, 58, even route 10 going through Smithfield and out that way. Those are well-used, well-signed evacuation routes to help people get out of the area," said Hansen.
Motorists should also take note of route 17 over the James River Bridge, route 60, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. The governor can also make the call to reverse traffic along I-64. However, there is no plan in place to reverse traffic at this point.
Hansen explains, "What that means is people traveling on I-64 west out of the area from Virginia Beach and Norfolk would then be put on the once east bound lanes through the HRBT and all the way up to Richmond, where they connect to I-295."
Another reason to plan ahead is if the storm produces sustained winds of at least 39 miles an hour, the Jamestown Scotland ferry and the Midtown Tunnel could shut down. At 45 miles an hour, the same thing could happen to the Monitor Merrimac, James River Bridge, Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and the Coleman Bridge.
Chesapeake is making northbound travel easier for visitors leaving North Carolina as Hurricane Irene approaches. Northbound tolls on the Chesapeake Expressway will be lifted at 8 a.m. Thursday. Resumption of the tolls will be determined after Irene passes. The expressway connects Interstate 64 in Virginia to North Carolina and the Outer Banks.
A Chesapeake music teacher could rub elbows with celebrities and bring home a Grammy next year.
A Suffolk man told police an HVAC system weighing about three tons was stolen from his property sometime last week.
A Newport News mother was arrested in York County for drug charges while she was with her children, according to the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office.