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HILLSVILLE — Shoppers by the thousands are expected to descend on the Hillsville gun show and flea market, as well as the Sylvatus flea market and numerous yard sales, this weekend.
Roads in the vicinity are expected to be clogged with shoppers galore, so the Virginia Department of Transportation issued the following traffic advisory.
Travelers heading to the annual Labor Day weekend flea market should be prepared for considerable traffic delays.
The town’s popular event will be held Aug. 31 through Sept. 3.
VDOT officials said in a news release that people not attending the flea market and gun show are encouraged to avoid the area altogether.
“Thousands of visitors are expected to converge on a one-mile section of Route 58 Business in Hillsville,” the news release said. “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.”
VDOT said that these routes are available to those approaching the Hillsville area:
Interstate 77 — Exit 14 (Hillsville/Galax)
Those planning to attend the flea market 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 police may be directing traffic at the Exit 14 and U.S. 58 Business interchange to promote safe travel.
Traffic will be directed 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 U.S. 58 Bypass’ western interchange to exit onto 58 Business should use extreme caution and watch for heavy traffic congestion.
Those not attending the event and traveling westbound on the bypass should use the left lane to avoid exiting vehicles.
Drivers are advised not to park on the U.S. 58 Bypass or on the ramps onto 58 Business. “No Parking” signs will be posted around the interchange.
U.S 52 event traffic can use Howlett Street or West Grayson Street.
Northbound U.S. 52 traffic will not be permitted to turn left onto westbound U.S. 58 Business.
Southbound 52 traffic will not be allowed to make right-on-red turns onto westbound 58 Business.