It was unclear Saturday when traffic would resume on southbound Interstate 95 in Woodbridge, as strong winds appeared likely to delay the removal of the large, leaning Potomac Mills sign.
State transportation officials noted that the 180-feet-tall sign needs to be removed, but crews can't even begin the 11-hour operation until winds fall below 13 mph.
Forecasters warned that high winds are expected to continue throughout the area through Saturday.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is focused on restoring traffic back to its normal conditions as soon as possible, spokesperson Ellen Kamilakis said Saturday.
The following road closures exist:
- All lanes of southbound I-95 at Prince William Parkway
- The ramp from southbound Route 123 to southbound I-95
- Telegraph Road between Prince William Parkway and Opitz Boulevard
The 95 Express Lanes are taking detour traffic around the area with tolls suspended.
Transportation officials closed the southbound lanes in the middle of the Friday afternoon rush hour after day a full of day of strong winds damaged the 180-foot-tall roadside sign.
VDOT is encouraging motorists traveling south to consider alternate routes, including U.S. 1 through Woodbridge and U.S. 301 in Maryland.
Power was still out for 124,000 Dominion Energy customers in Northern Virginia and nearly 8,400 NOVEC customers. You can get the latest outage information and tips at the Dominion Energy Outage Center and the NOVEC Outage Center.
Wind gusts of 40 to 45 mph are expected through early Saturday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
“In the wake of high winds yesterday, this will likely result in loose or weakened objects such as trees, limbs and other debris becoming toppled today,” the weather statement noted. “Additional power outages are possible, and wind ongoing gusty winds will likely hamper repair and recovery efforts to existing damage and outages.”