In preparation for the Lipton Tea 250 and Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400 NASCAR events at Richmond International Raceway, the Henrico County Department of Public Works will modify traffic patterns on major routes to the raceway on Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2. The temporary changes should help minimize traffic congestion during the races.
Motorists should expect extremely heavy traffic and delays all day Friday and Saturday in the raceway area, especially from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. before the races and from 10:15 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. after the races.
The Henrico Division of Police will have officers on duty to direct traffic around the area before and after the races. Police encourage race fans and other motorists to consult message boards on interstate highways and roadways approaching RIR for traffic information. WRVA 1140 AM will broadcast traffic reports as well.
The following traffic patterns will be in effect May 2 during peak hours:
-- Carolina Avenue between Laburnum and Azalea avenues will be one-way inbound before the race and one-way outbound after the race. Access to businesses along Carolina Avenue will be maintained from Laburnum Avenue.
-- Meadowbridge Road between the Henrico/Hanover county line and Azalea Avenue will be one-way southbound beginning at approximately 9 a.m. and continuing until the race starts.
-- Meadowbridge Road north of Azalea Avenue will close to northbound traffic; however, in Hanover County it will remain a two-way road at all times.
-- After the race, Laburnum Avenue between Carolina Avenue and Mechanicsville Turnpike will be one-way eastbound. Two-way traffic will be maintained westbound from Carolina Avenue.
-- After the race, Meadowbridge Road north of Azalea Avenue will be one-way northbound between Azalea Avenue and Atlee Road, beginning at approximately 10 p.m. and continuing until race traffic is dispersed.
-- After the race, three lanes on Azalea Avenue between Richmond-Henrico Turnpike and Henrico High School will be routed westbound and one lane eastbound. This change will require all median crossovers on Azalea Avenue between Richmond-Henrico Turnpike and Henrico High School to close at approximately 10 p.m. until race traffic is dispersed. Police will assist motorists turning from Azalea Avenue to Thrush Lane and Pony Farm Drive.
While these traffic patterns are in effect, median crossovers on Laburnum Avenue will be closed between North Avenue and Mechanicsville Turnpike, except at Pilots Lane and Austin Avenue. Only right turns will be permitted to and from Laburnum Avenue. Police will be positioned at these intersections before and after the race to assist motorists turning onto or crossing Laburnum Avenue.
On-street parking on major routes to RIR is prohibited each day.
Additional parking will be available May 2 at the Richmond Coliseum parking deck on North Seventh Street, at a cost of $6. Free shuttle bus service to and from RIR will be provided beginning at 1 p.m. Parking also will be available at the Showplace on Mechanicsville Turnpike beginning at 11 a.m., $5 per car and $25 per recreational vehicle; free shuttle bus service to RIR will be provided.
The Henrico Division of Police has recommended the following routes for traffic approaching the raceway May 1-2:
-- From the east (Hampton Roads area) - Follow Interstate 64 west to Interstate 295 north (Exit 200). Follow Interstate 295 north and exit onto Mechanicsville Turnpike west (Exit 37B). Follow Mechanicsville Turnpike to Laburnum Avenue. Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
-- From the east (Route 360) - Approach Richmond on Route 360 west (Mechanicsville Turnpike), cross Interstate 295, and continue west to Laburnum Avenue. Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
-- From the east (local traffic) - Follow Interstate 64 west and take the Laburnum Avenue exit (Exit 195). Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
-- From the north - Follow Interstate 95 south to the Interstate 295 east interchange (marked "To Norfolk - Williamsburg"). Follow Interstate 295 east and exit onto Meadowbridge Road west (Exit 38B). Follow Meadowbridge Road (Richmond-Henrico Turnpike) and proceed to the raceway.
-- From the north (local traffic) - Use Route 1 (Brook Road) to Azalea Avenue. Turn left onto Azalea Avenue and proceed to the raceway.
-- From the west - Follow Interstate 64 east to the Interstate 295 south interchange (Exit 177). Follow Interstate 295 south and exit onto Meadowbridge Road west (Exit 38B). Follow Meadowbridge Road (Richmond-Henrico Turnpike) and proceed to the raceway.
-- From the west (local traffic) - Follow Interstate 64 east to the Powhite Parkway/Laburnum Avenue exit. Take the Laburnum Avenue exit, turn left and proceed to the raceway.
-- From the south - Follow Interstate 95 north to the interchange with Interstate 295 south of Petersburg. Follow Interstate 295 north and exit onto Mechanicsville Turnpike (Exit 37B). Follow Mechanicsville Turnpike to Laburnum Avenue. Turn right and proceed to the raceway.