Update at 11:55 a.m. — Virginia State Police have issued a brief statement about the road closures: “Please be advised that the roads that will be temporarily closed for the 9/11 Memorial Ride will only be shut down for the duration of time it takes for the riders to proceed through safely. Once the last rider has cleared that particular section of the road, it will be re-opened to the motoring public.”
As a reminder, several major highways in Virginia will be shut down this afternoon to accommodate more than 1,800 motorcyclists participating in the America’s 9/11 Foundation Memorial Ride.
Among the highways expected to be shut down in Arlington during the ride this afternoon are eastbound I-66 and Route 110. The bikers’ ultimate destination is the Double Tree Hotel in Pentagon City, where they will be holding a street fair with a performance by country music artist Aaron Tippin from 6:30 to 9:30 tonight.
To accommodate the street fair, Army Navy Drive will be closed today between 12th Street S. and S. Fern Street, from 9:30 a.m. to midnight.
Here’s the press release from Virginia State Police describing the event and some of the closures.
Those living, working and traveling through the Northern Virginia region on the afternoon and evening of Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, are advised to begin preparing now for major road closures associated with a Sept. 11, 2001, motorcycle tribute procession.
This year’s America’s 9/11 Foundation, Inc., event is anticipated to have its largest turnout ever with over 1,800 motorcyclists expected to participate. The annual remembrance ride honors all who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks, aftermath and recovery. The ride travels from Somerset, Pennsylvania to the Pentagon, then to the site of the World Trade Center over a four-day period of time.
Once the riders exit the Dulles Toll Road, they proceed onto the Connector Road and enter Interstate 66. I-66 eastbound will be closed to traffic from the Capital Beltway to Route 110 southbound. No traffic will be allowed to access the on-ramps to I-66 east- bound between Fairfax and Arlington Counties. As a result, heavy traffic congestion and delays are expected on I-66 and I-495. A suggested detour route for travelers headed to the District is to take I-495 north to the George Washington Memorial Parkway or I-495 south to Route 50 east (Arlington Blvd.).
Once the riders reach Route 110 in Arlington, the Arlington County Police Department, Virginia State Police and partnering law enforcement agencies will escort the motorcycles into Crystal City. For more information about the ride through Arlington please visit http://www.arlingtonalert.com.
A police escort will accompany the 9/11 motorcycle riders throughout their entire route in Virginia to ensure the safety of all motorists. With major traffic congestion expected for the 911 Memorial Ride, motorists are strongly advised to prepare themselves for anticipated gridlock in the affected regions. Alternate plans are highly recommended and drivers are advised to be patient. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will have portable message boards alerting motorists to delays. Virginia maps are also available online through VDOT at www.virginiadot.org/travel/maps-state.asp.
For further information about the 9/11 memorial ride, you can visit the Foundation’s Website at www.americas911foundation.org.
The Virginia State Police, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Leesburg Police, Dulles Greenway, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police (MWAA PD), Fairfax County Police, Arlington Police and Pentagon Force Protection Agency Police have been working together to coordinate a route that ensures the safety of the motorcyclists and general motoring public while attempting to minimize traffic congestion and delays.