How to avoid DC area traffic coming home from Labor Day weekend

Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge is bracing for hundreds of thousands of cars to pass between Annapolis and Kent Island as fans of the season get one last summer vacation in this Labor Day weekend.

Likewise, stretches of Interstate 95 in Virginia and Maryland also expect to see heavy traffic as people escape to points north, south, east and west. And everyone who left throughout the day Friday, or even Thursday night, have to get back home.

“Motorists should still expect delays and allow extra time for the return trip,” said John Townsend, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Depending on when you leave, your drive home on vacation could resemble your drive home from work on any other Monday of the year, even if you’re not on the exact same route.

“The best time to hit the road … for the return trip is early,” said Townsend. “The best time to head back home is before noon on Monday, Labor Day itself. Traffic congestion and travel delays will peak from noon until 6 p.m. on area freeways as hundreds of thousands of motorists head home for the last holiday weekend of summer.”

Maryland transportation leaders have been urging motorists all summer to stick to Route 50 as they come back from the beaches, pointing out that side roads to and around Kent Island don’t get you across the bridge any faster than 50 will, but just end up slowing down local residents and emergency vehicles relying on them to get around.

In Virginia, HOV requirements for I-66 and I-395 will be lifted on Monday, as will any rush hour tolls on I-66 inside the Beltway.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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