Opinion

It’s been a brutal year on Interstate 95 in Northern Virginia. Yes, more so than in years past, the delays seemed to rack up on the highway that bridges the gap not only Prince William and Stafford counties but to many jobs many of us commute to in Arlington and Washington, D.C.

For nearly all of us, the highway and its delays are something we’ve become very familiar with.

The Virginia Department of Transportation told us congestion on I-95 would get worse this year, especially during the summer of 2013 when work on the 95 Express Lanes would kick into high gear.

Now in winter and heading into 2014, we can see pavement that has been laid on the new lanes that, when the open in early 2015, will bring an extension of the HOV lanes from Dumfries to Va. 610 in North Stafford. The entire facility will between North Stafford and Esdall Road in Alexandria, and will allow single drivers to pay an electronic toll to use the lanes or occupants in vehicles of three or more to ride free.

And, while that all sounds well and good, it will be even better when the lanes finally open and work-related delays for the Express Lanes project a thing of the past. Even during the holidays, I-95 in our area has been plagued by delays morning, midday, and night as work zones are set up, closing lanes and backing up miles of traffic, in some cases.

So, as we say goodbye to 2013 and welcome 2014 give yourself a pat on the back for putting up with what has been horrendous traffic congestion. And, join me in looking forward to the project’s completion and the opening of the new lanes. Let’s hope they help to improve the awful delays that keep us away from home, family, and life’s activities by giving us another option to get where going just a bit faster.