- All I-95 southbound traffic will be directed off at Exit 152 A, Dumfries Road (Route 234) east to U.S. Route 1 south to Joplin Road, (USMC Quantico), Route 619 and back to I-95 south. One lane on U.S. Route 1 south will also be closed prior to Dumfries Road (Route 234) to accommodate detour traffic.
- Motorists can expect up to 20 minutes additional travel time from 9:30 p.m., Friday night, July 12, until 7 a.m., Saturday morning, July 13, and 9:30 p.m., Saturday night July 13, until 9 a.m., Sunday morning, July 14, as crews set-up the lane closures and detour route.
- All lanes will be restored by 9 a.m., Saturday morning, July 13, and 10 a.m. Sunday morning, July 14.
- Motorists should also expect nightly lane closures, Mondays through Saturdays, and during the day on Saturdays, throughout the summer weekends.
- A similar detour will be in place the weekend of July 19, for another bridge structure and steel lifts at Telegraph Road in Quantico.
Motorists heading to Virginia Beach this weekend—or any southern destination on I-95—often take the beltway in the middle of the night to avoid traffic delays and other traffic headaches.
That strategy usually works. But not this weekend.
Starting at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, July 12, and again on Saturday July 13, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will begin to close lanes on I-95 south from Dumfries Road (Exit 152) to Route 619 (Exit 150 - USMC Quantico/Joplin Road). Roads shut down to a full closure of I-95 south from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday, July 13 and 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday, July 14.
The closures will allow VDOT crews to safely lift steel beams for a new bridge that will carry traffic from the future 95 Express Lanes located in the median to the right side of I-95 south before Exit 150 to USMC Quantico (Joplin Road.) Motorists will be detoured to U.S. Route 1, south to Joplin Road, adding about 20 minutes onto the trip.
To frustrated motorists who just want to get there faster, Steve Titunik, VDOT's communications director, has some advice: "Keep your eye on the prize."
"We've done these closures before,” Titunik said. “We know it's not a breeze, but you have to remember that each one of these projects fits into a master plan to improve transportation options. It's about choices and options that, ultimately, can provide motorists a better driving experience, a more seamless connection to wherever they are going."
Currently, motorists hit a bottleneck when the reversible HOV lanes on I-95 end just south of Dumfries Road and drivers from the two HOV lanes merge into the three I-95 southbound lanes.
“I tell people [timing lane closures] is like trying to throw a party at your house and change the carpet at the same time. It’s tricky, but we do our best to minimize any disruptions.”
—Steve Titunik, VDOT’s communications director
The new bridge will ease that congestion.
During the road closure, beams will be installed for the new bridge, which will be a “flyover” to carry Express Lane passengers over to the right-hand side of the general occupancy lanes. In this section, the project extends along the same nine miles of road that are closed this weekend, from Dumfries Road south to Route 619.
Similar bridges exist along the HOV lanes near Potomac Mills shopping center, and are designed to avert the danger and delay that result when vehicles from the HOV or Express Lanes enter the general occupancy lanes from the left-hand side, and then have to cross three lanes of traffic to exit the highway.
The new bridge is part of the massive I-95 Express Lanes upgrade and expansion project—a total of 29-miles from Edsall Road in Fairfax County to Garrisonville Road in Prince William County. The project, expected to be complete in late 2014, will add capacity and more travel choices with the EZ Pass system, which includes new access points, new electronic signage and toll gantries.
Until these improvements are finished, be ready for:
- Extensive lane closures and delays during non-peak hours (day and night)
- Full highway closures and detours overnight, as necessary
- Slower-moving trucks entering the work zone on the left
- Limited shoulder access
“Plan ahead, slow down and drive with caution,” VDOT officials advise.
Titunik, who often takes calls in the middle of the night from irate motorists questioning the timing of these lane closures, said he know there’s never a perfect time to shut down major roadways.
“I tell people it’s like trying to throw a party at your house and change the carpet at the same time. It’s tricky, but we do our best our best to minimize any disruptions,” he said.
For more information on summer work projects, go to www.vamegaprojects.com/about-megaprojects.