Dr. Gridlock's tips

Saturday, November 20, 2010; 5:47 PM

Thanksgiving travel

Here are some updates on key bottlenecks to the northeast.

The Delaware Department of Transportation warns that lengthy delays are likely at the Newark Toll Plaza on Interstate 95, especially on Tuesday and Wednesday when you head north and on Sunday and Monday heading south.

The toll plaza is being rebuilt to accommodate highway-speed E-ZPass lanes in the middle. Like other states, Delaware pulls up the orange cones and opens all available lanes during the holidays, but the construction has reduced the number of lanes at the toll plaza. Also, the three open northbound E-ZPass lanes on the left side of the toll plaza merge into a single lane just beyond the plaza.

Travelers can get traffic updates and camera views on the Delaware Department of Transportation Web site at Deldot.gov by following @DelawareDOT on Twitter or by tuning to radio station WTMC (1380 AM).

Beating bottlenecks

Some drivers like to bail out onto U.S. Route 40 as an alternative to northbound I-95, but the Maryland Transportation Authority advises that the travel lanes on the Hatem Bridge over the Susquehanna River have been reduced from two lanes to one in each direction for repair work.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge also is popular with northbound drivers seeking U.S. Route 301 as an alternative. The transportation authority offers this advice:

l Tuesday evening's rush hour will be a busy combination of holiday travelers and regular commuter traffic.

l On Wednesday, it's best to travel before noon or after 7 p.m.

l On Thursday and Friday, the best hours are before 10 a.m. or after 2 p.m.

l Next Sunday's westbound traffic will be heavy all day.

virginia hov rules

The high-occupancy-vehicle lane restrictions on I-66, I-95 and I-395 will be lifted on Thanksgiving Day, but the normal rules will apply on Wednesday and Friday. Here's what that means.

On I-95/395, three or more in a vehicle can use the lanes northbound from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. From 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., three or more in a vehicle can use the lanes southbound.

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