Saturday was a traffic nightmare if you needed to get from the Peninsula to the Southside as the geniuses with VDOT decided to close both the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel AND the James River Bridge for the weekend. They eliminated 2 of the 3 crossings then had the gaul to compare it to the ususal backups seen in the busy summer driving season.
VDOT said the repair was scheduled after the tourist season but loacalities push hard to extend the season into the Fall. Virginia Beach hosted the Ocean Air show and had multpile festivals at the Oceanfront. Also, what a great time to travel to the Outer Banks!
The cherry on top was when on Saturday afternoon, the Monitor Merrimac Tunnel, the only available crossing, was closed because of a car fire in the tube. Really, who would think that afer hours of stop-an-go traffic, a older car might just break down or catch on fire?!!
Here is a great comment from the Comment section to the Pilotonline-these words echo most of the comments and experiences of people who were stuck on Saturday:
“I find the entire tone of this article completely offensive. This Pilot staff writer has gone to great pains to DOWNPLAY this nightmare, which is a total cluster f*%k on the part of the decision makers at VDOT; instead trying really hard to make us think that being stuck in gridlocked traffic for 3 to 5 hours is “no big deal”. The couple that this writer interviewed might be satisfied to waste hours of their day playing with their smart phones and listening to the radio, but the reality is that most of us value our time more than that, and were INFURIATED. Too bad no one asked for my thoughts yesterday, though it would needed extensive editing to remove all the expletives I would have used to give my opinion of the bureaucracy at VDOT.”
I was lucky not to be stuck on Satuday but my spouse, one of my kids and a friend all were-all in separate cars.
My husband had the shortest time-but he got off 64E at Mercury Blvd. and called me to help him find a route around some of the mess.Thank you GoogleMap. His trip took 5.5 hours. My kid participated in a sport event and his team bus took over 6 hours and was shortened by some “creative driving” by the bus driver.
The worst experience was a friend whose trip from Newport News to Virginia Beach took EIGHT HOURS!! She stayed on 64E to 664, didn’t cut people off, etc. For two hours, she moved 5 car-lenghts.
Luckily, she had some water with her and had had a snack before she got on the road. She had some people in a car ask her for water, which she shared.
I’m not sure what VDOT was trying to prove with this stunt but I will continue to say wake up to how transportation de-values life in Virginia and no – we don’t need tolls!
Increase the Gas Tax, you bunch of idiots in Richmond!!