Virginia Beach, Va. – Planning to take I-264 this weekend to get to the beach? You won’t be able to do that this weekend if police decide to close part of it on Friday and Saturday.
Police say they`re expecting more cars and people down at the Oceanfront and when NewsChannel 3 asked if it`s because of this upcoming Beach Week, an officer said “This traffic has nothing to do with beach week in and of itself.”
This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of Beach Week when thousands of young people stormed the Oceanfront, causing chaos and violence.
It was just pure chaos at about 9 p.m. It started getting worse at about 11 and then everything happened at once. Police won`t say if this traffic plan has anything to with their concerns about the spring break weekend.
Police tell NewsChannel 3 they`re prepared if this weekend turns violent. They say all 806 Virginia Beach officers will be working, even if Friday and Saturday are their days off.
This is something that police Chief Cevera reiterated to NewsChannel 3. But when it comes to shutting down parts of I-264 on the anniversary of the violent Beach Week, police are just saying they`re expecting an influx of people.
Today, they gave a four-day notice on Twitter and Facebook letting people know about the possible interstate shutdown, but never mentioned ‘Beach Week.’ Officers say they`re expecting a busy weekend all around – a she-crab soup festival, events at the convention center, a car show and a high school dance. Still, business owners along Atlantic Avenue are nervous about what this weekend could bring.
The public affairs office sent an email saying that they expect large crowds on any holiday weekend and that the traffic plan is no different than what has been adhered to in the past.
Officials say they are working to prevent gridlock to allow emergency vehicles access in case they are needed.
They say they are not stopping anyone from coming to the area. Vehicles will still be able to get to the Oceanfront from General Booth Blvd. and Shore Drive.
There have been posts swirling around social media about a possible Beach Week 2014. NewsChannel 3’s Gabriella Deluca took action to get more answers.