RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) - Traffic is revving up at Richmond International Raceway this weekend with not one but two races scheduled. Traffic problems could arise because police will alter traffic patterns on roads around RIR to help fans get to and from the track. The Virginia 529 College Savings 250 will be Friday, Sept. 7th and the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR race will be Saturday, Sept. 8.
Motorists should expect heavy traffic and delays in the area on both days, especially from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., before the races, and from 10:15 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., afterward.
Here are the roads that will be affected:
• Carolina Avenue between Laburnum and Azalea avenues will be one way inbound before the race and one way outbound after the race. Access to businesses along Carolina Avenue will be maintained from Laburnum Avenue.
• Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road from the Henrico/Hanover county line to Azalea Avenue will be one way southbound beginning about 9 a.m. and continuing until the race starts. Sections of Meadowbridge Road farther north in Hanover County will continue to accommodate northbound and southbound traffic at all times.
• After the race, Laburnum Avenue from Carolina Avenue to Mechanicsville Turnpike will be one way eastbound. Eastbound Laburnum Avenue from Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road to Carolina Avenue will be closed until race traffic disperses. Two-way traffic will be maintained on Laburnum Avenue west of Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road.
• After the race, beginning at about 10 p.m., Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road north of Azalea Avenue will be one way northbound to Atlee Road in Hanover County. Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road will be restored to two-way traffic when race traffic disperses.
• After the race, three lanes of Azalea Avenue from Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road to Henrico High School will be routed westbound; one lane will be routed eastbound. This change will require all median crossovers on Azalea Avenue from Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road to Henrico High School to be closed from about 10 p.m. until race traffic disperses. Police will assist motorists turning from Azalea Avenue onto Thrush Lane and Pony Farm Drive.
While the traffic modifications are in effect, median crossovers on Laburnum Avenue will be closed from North Avenue to Mechanicsville Turnpike, except at Pilots Lane and Austin Avenue. Only right turns will be permitted to and from Laburnum Avenue. Police will be at these intersections before and after the race to assist motorists turning onto or crossing Laburnum Avenue.
On-street parking on major routes to RIR will be prohibited each day. Parking will be available for $6 on Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Richmond Coliseum parking deck, 501 N. Seventh St. in downtown Richmond. Free shuttle bus service to and from RIR will begin at 1 p.m.
Parking also will be available for $10 per car and $25 per recreational vehicle at The Showplace, 3000 Mechanicsville Turnpike in Henrico, beginning at 11 a.m. Free shuttle bus service to and from RIR will begin at noon.
The Henrico Division of Police recommends the following routes for traffic approaching the raceway:
• From the east (Hampton Roads area) — Follow Interstate 64 west to Interstate 295 north (Exit 200). Follow I-295 north and exit onto Mechanicsville Turnpike west (Exit 37B). Follow Mechanicsville Turnpike to Laburnum Avenue. Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
• From the east (Route 360) — Follow Route 360 (Mechanicsville Turnpike) west, cross I-295 and continue west to Laburnum Avenue. Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
• From the east (local traffic) — Follow I-64 west and take the Laburnum Avenue exit (Exit 195). Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
• From the north — Follow Interstate 95 south to the I-295 east interchange (marked “To Norfolk-Williamsburg”). Follow I-295 east and exit onto Meadowbridge Road west (Exit 38B). Follow Meadowbridge Road (Richmond-Henrico Turnpike) and proceed to the raceway.
• From the north (local traffic) — Follow Route 1 (Brook Road) south to Azalea Avenue. Turn left onto Azalea Avenue and proceed to the raceway.
• From the west — Follow I-64 east to the I-295 south interchange (Exit 177). Follow I-295 south and exit onto Meadowbridge Road west (Exit 38B). Follow Meadowbridge Road (Richmond-Henrico Turnpike) and proceed to the raceway.
• From the west (local traffic) — Follow I-64 east to the Laburnum Avenue/Powhite Parkway exit. Take the Laburnum Avenue exit, turn left and proceed to the raceway.
• From the south — Follow I-95 north to the I-295 interchange south of Petersburg. Follow I-295 north and exit onto Mechanicsville Turnpike (Exit 37B). Follow Mechanicsville Turnpike to Laburnum Avenue. Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
• From the south (local traffic) — Follow I-95 north to the I-64 east interchange (Exit 75). Follow I-64 to Route 360 east (Mechanicsville Turnpike). Follow Route 360 east to Laburnum Avenue. Turn left and proceed to the raceway.