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HILLSVILLE — Travelers heading to the annual Hillsville Flea Market and Gun Show during Labor Day weekend should be prepared for considerable traffic delays, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The town’s popular event will be held Sept. 2-5, bringing tens of thousands of people to the town and surrounding area.
Those not attending the flea market and gun show are encouraged to avoid the area altogether, said a VDOT press release issued last week.
Those thousands of visitors are expected to converge on a one-mile section of U.S. 58 Business in Hillsville. As a result, sidewalks will be crowded with pedestrians and bumper-to-bumper traffic will be moving at a crawl throughout the area.
Drivers should use extra caution, watch for police directing traffic and pay attention to electronic message boards in the area.
In addition, motorists should be aware that all of the new 5.2-mile U.S. 58 bypass around Hillsville will be open before Labor Day, so new traffic patterns will be in place.
VDOT advises travelers of the following traffic information:
Interstate 77 at Exit 14
Those planning to attend the flea market and gun show are encouraged to take I-77 and use Exit 14 (Hillsville/Galax) onto U.S. 58 Business.
Congestion is expected on I-77 in this area and Virginia State Police will be directing traffic at the Exit 14 interchange to promote safe travel. State police will be routing traffic onto Virginia 714 (Old Galax Pike) to help alleviate congestion.
Motorists should watch for stopped vehicles in this area.
Westbound U.S. 58 Business traffic will be reduced to one lane approaching the I-77 interchange from Old Galax Pike.
U.S. 58 Bypass western interchange with 58 Business
Motorists using the new U.S. 58 bypass’ western interchange to exit onto U.S. 58 Business should use extreme caution and watch for heavy traffic congestion. Those not attending the event and traveling westbound on the new bypass should use the left lane to avoid exiting vehicles.
Drivers are advised not to park on the new U.S. 58 Bypass or on the ramps onto U.S. 58 Business. “No Parking” signs will be posted around the interchange.
U.S. 52 event traffic can use Virginia T-780 (Howlett Street) or Virginia T-1020 (West Grayson Street).
Northbound U.S. 52 traffic will not be permitted to turn left onto westbound U.S. 58 Business.
Southbound U.S. 52 traffic will not be allowed to make right-on-red turns onto westbound U.S. 58 Business.