FAQ from Virginia State Police

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why was the decision made to close NB I-395 and EB I-66?
This was not an easy decision, but one made by a collection of federal, state, and local law enforcement and transportation officials. If Virginia was to allow thousands of personal vehicles into Washington, D.C., via I-395 north, I-66 east, the Chain Bridge and the Key Bridge, then no one would be able to get into the city because of the massive gridlock that would occur. And, if you did get into the city, there would be nowhere to park because of security measures.

In order to provide traffic an adequate, safe, mobile thoroughfare and diversion point I-395 north and I-66 had to be closed to all general and local traffic at the Capitol Beltway/I-495.

In addition, if an incident was to occur in Washington, DC, on Inauguration Day these lanes would be critical to allowing emergency vehicles and resources to respond. The open travel lanes would also allow for the immediate and safe evacuation of people from the city, if needed.  

The restrictions go into place at 3 a.m. Tuesday, January 20, and will lift shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 20.

Why not leave I-395 north and I-66 east open to local traffic?
There would be no way to identify local traffic versus inaugural traffic. If personal vehicles heading to the Inauguration had access to I-395 north and I-66 east, then vehicles would begin backing up as they would not be permitted into Washington, DC, and that would adversely affect any local traffic mobility on I-395 and I-66.

Why not leave I-395 north and I-66 east open and move traffic off at the exits?
To redirect direct thousands of vehicles off of I-395 north and I-66 east at the exits along each of those routes would severely overtax the local streets and cause more backups within the city, thus adversely affecting local businesses and neighborhoods.

How do I get into Washington, DC?
No one is being restricted from getting into Washington, DC, from Virginia. People can take public transit, trains, buses, taxis, for-hire limos and car services into the city. Or they can walk, ride a bike, or use a Segway to get into the city. The only restriction is on personal vehicles being driven in from Virginia. Drivers can get into the city by coming in from Maryland.

Pedestrians, bicyclists and those on Segways can use the Memorial Bridge, Key Bridge, and Chain Bridge to get into Washington, DC. Also, the bike/walk path that runs underneath the 14th Street Bridge will be open on both the Virginia and Washington, DC side.

Please click through this Web site to identify the best transportation resource for you and your Inaugural plans.

How do I get out of Washington, DC?
Interstate 395 southbound and Interstate 66 southbound will be open to all traffic all day on January 20.