SUFFOLK - The Va. Department of Transportation will outline Friday how it will complete work at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and the James River Bridge without causing gridlock again.
Last weekend, I-64 East and Rt. 17 South were closed at both spans for work, forcing drivers into the sole crossing available - the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel.
Drivers were stuck for hours, many ran out of gas; many people missed or had to delay important events like weddings and funerals.
VDOT cancelled plans to close the spans again this weekend and apologized for the problem, promising to come up with a way to keep traffic moving while getting the necessary work completed.
Aubrey Layne, a member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board representing Hampton Roads, says last weekend's gridlock caused some heated exchanges behind closed doors.
"For something this big, maybe we need to give people a lot more notice so they have time to adjust their lives," he said Thursday.
Layne says last weekend's traffic tie-up bolsters the belief that the crossings are at capacity and something needs to be done.
"We need to be looking at revenue sources long term to provide better access across our harbor, including looking at a third crossing," he stated.
As for upcoming closures, Layne anticipates VDOT will scale back the repairs.
"I would guess that it would be some type of staggered approach, where we're going to do one at a time. Fortunately it looks like the weather may hold for us a while. But look I think the public does need to understand we're going to be inconvenienced."