I-64 evacuation drill may cause traffic delays - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

I-64 evacuation drill may cause traffic delays

NEW KENT, VA (WWBT) -

We have a warning to anyone getting an early start on Sunday heading to Williamsburg or Virginia Beach. 27 miles of Interstate 64 between New Kent and James City will be closed to eastbound traffic.

Drivers will have to detour on Route 60 if they haven't hit exit 205 by 4:30 in the morning, because crews are going to start their drill by 5:00 a.m. sharp.

The drill is supposed to last only two hours but it could create delays for people heading east. From 5:00 to 7:00 a.m., 27 miles of I-64 will shut down while state police, National Guard, and Department of Emergency Management crews test equipment and communication strategies - should the Hampton roads area need to be evacuated. 

"State Police and VDOT - their goal is to test what we need to test as quickly as possible and as safely as possible and get the road back open to everybody," said VDEM Public Affairs Director Bob Spieldenner. 

Spieldenner hopes the drill won't create much congestion because it's happening so early in the day. People who drive this area on a regular basis feel differently.  

"If you're going to the beach - most of your condos - they're ready for you at 2:00 or 3:00, so people head out early to get settled," said Nancy Armstrong. "It could be busy." 

The traffic control gates will rise and the east bound lanes will open to traffic once the drill wraps up 7:00 Sunday morning. West bound traffic will not be affected, and traffic will not actually be reversed. It's just an exercise. The governor can order a reversal to speed up evacuation from the Hampton Roads region if there is a hurricane or other major disaster according to VDEM.

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