WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia



Traffic & Transit

Man, 19, killed in motorcycle crash on Prince William Parkway

From Prince William police: 

Fatal Crash Investigation – On June 24 at 10:42AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the area of Prince William Pkwy and Scenic Point Pl  in Manassas (20112) to investigate a single vehicle crash involving a motorcycle. The investigation revealed that the operator of a 2006 Suzuki motorcycle, identified as a 19-year-old man of Woodbridge, was traveling eastbound on the Prince William Pkwy near Scenic Point Pl at an excessive speed when the operator lost control and struck a guard rail. The motorcycle operator was pronounced dead at the scene. It is still unknown if drug and alcohol use are factors in this crash. The investigation continues.


From police: 


The operator of a 2006 Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle was identified as Martin Ezekiel MONGE, 19, of Woodbridge

‘All Interstate 95 northbound traffic in Stafford County will be stopped’

From a press release: 

All Interstate 95 northbound traffic in Stafford County will be stopped intermittently for 20-minute intervals between midnight and 3 a.m. on Saturday, June 24 as part of a work zone for the I-95 Express Lanes Southern Terminus Extension.

Crews will be installing overhead signs between Exit 140 (Courthouse Road) and Exit 143 (Route 610) as part of a 2.5 mile extension of I-95 Express Lanes from its current southern terminus. Virginia State Police will assist with traffic control in the work zone.

The following lane closures are planned for this evening and early Saturday, weather permitting:

  • Single lane closure at 10 p.m. between Exit 140 (Courthouse Road) and Exit 143 (Route 610)

  • Double lane closure at midnight

  • Between midnight and 3 a.m.

    full traffic stops for up to 20 minutes at a time

  • All lanes open by 4:30 a.m.

‘The three existing I-95 southbound lanes in this area would be converted to lanes for local traffic’

From a press release: 

The public is invited to attend a citizen information meeting next week to learn more about the revised design for the Interstate 95 southbound collector distributor lanes – Rappahannock River Crossing project between Exit 133 (Route 17) in Stafford County and Exit 130 (Route 3) in the City of Fredericksburg.    

The citizen information meeting will be held:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

5-7 p.m.  

Fredericksburg Hospitality House & Conference Center

Fredericksburg Room

2801 Plank Road (Central Park)

Fredericksburg, VA 22401

A brief presentation will be delivered at 6 p.m.

The revised design includes construction of three new I-95 southbound lanes in the current median of I-95 for through traffic. The new through traffic lanes would be built from north of Exit 133 at Route 17 in Stafford to just south of Exit 130 at Route 3 in Spotsylvania. (more…)

‘Some OmniRide routes will follow new routing, many OmniRide and eastern OmniLink routes will have updated schedule times to better reflect recent traffic conditions’

From a press release: 

“PRTC will implement a fare increase on Monday, June 26, and many bus schedules will change on Monday, July 3. In past years, any fare increase took effect on the same day as schedule and routing changes, but PRTC adjusted the date of this year’s fare increase to align with other regional transit providers participating in the SmarTrip fare collection system.

PRTC provides commuter and local bus services as well as ridesharing services in Prince William County, the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park. PRTC also co-sponsors the Virginia Railway Express in partnership with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.

Among the highlights of the coming changes: some OmniRide routes will follow new routing, many OmniRide and eastern OmniLink routes will have updated schedule times to better reflect recent traffic conditions, and fares will increase by an average of 5 percent.

The changes were identified through passenger comments and discussion with PRTC dispatchers and the staff of our contractor, First Transit Inc. Among the major routing changes: (more…)

VRE won’t run Firecracker Special trains this year

The Firecracker Special has burnt out.

Virginia Railway Express announced it would not run its two trains from Manassas and Fredericksburg to the Independence Day celebration and fireworks display in Washington, D.C. on July 4.

The commuter railroad does not offer regular service on that day because of the holiday. The decision to not run the Firecracker Special this year is based on last year’s low ridership numbers, the fact that July 4 falls mid-week on Tuesday, and that “getting the service ready to run for the next morning would be very challenging,” according to a VRE spokesman.

Last year, VRE had a ridership goal of 1,000 per line on July 4. There were 161 on the Manassas line and 364 passengers on the Fredericksburg line.

Last year, tickets for the Firecracker Special were sold for $10 a person.

The Firecracker Special was brought back in 2014 after a 10-year hiatus. Trains on both lines took passengers to Union Station where they could depart and walk the rest of the way to the National Mall for the Independence Day celebration and fireworks. In 2004 and years prior, the July 4 trains stopped at L’Enfant Plaza.

VRE submits proposal for $187 million in projects funded by I-66 E-ZPass Express Lanes

Improvements would come to Manassas line, stations 

There’s a pot of $500 million on the table thanks to the Interstate 66 E-ZPass Express Lanes project, and Virginia’s commuter railroad wants its share.

Virginia Railway Express CEO Doug Allen won approval from the railroad’s operations board Friday to submit a $187 million proposal to the state for projects to include the widening of a train storage yard at Broad Run Station at the Manassas Airport and building a third track south of Manassas.

Other projects noted in the package include purchasing 10 new rail cars to extend the length of Manassas Line trains to accommodate more riders, extending a passenger waiting platform at the Downtown Manassas VRE station, and funding for a $26 million parking garage at the Manassas Park VRE Station. The unfunded projects have been on the commuter railroad’s long-range plan.

The $500 million is a lump-sum payment to the state from Express Mobility Partners, “a consortium of Spanish multinational company Ferrovial; a subsidiary, Cintra; global investment and asset management firm Meridian; and construction firm Allan Myers — to finance, design, maintain and operate the toll expressway” on I-66 for 50 years, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe through the state’s Northern Virginia Transportation Authority opened a bid for project proposals June 8. The bids close on June 28, and the monies expected to be awarded to the winning projects before McAuliffe leaves office in January. (more…)

Man fatally struck near Woodbridge VRE

A man was struck and killed Friday night by an Amtrak train in Woodbridge.

The unidentified victim was walking on the tracks near the Woodbridge Virginia Railway Express station about 7:30 p.m.

Police are working to notify the next of kin.

Amtrak 90 from Florida to New York was scheduled to be passing through the region at the time of the collision. Amtrak has not responded to a request for comment on this story.

The collision sparked delays for riders on Virginia Railway Express.

From a VRE spokesman:

“VRE Train 315, our last train of the evening was stopped at the Lorton Station. We contacted PRTC, and they provided three buses to accommodate the 147 passengers on board. Buses arrived at 9:00 pm. Passengers were loaded on buses and departed to southern stations.”

NVTA funds $2.5 million for Manassas Park VRE garage study

A total of $2.5 million has been set aside for the study and planning of a new parking garage at the Manassas Park Virginia Railway Express Station.

The commuter railroad is in the process of completing a study that examines what type of parking garage is needed at the busy station, as well as what type of pedestrian improvements are needed.

The station currently has 600 parking spaces, and nearly all of them are being used, according to a May VRE report. An additional 500 more spaces are needed, according to VRE documents.

Neighboring Manassas is the only station on the system’s Manassas line, which includes stations in Fairfax County, that is short on commuter parking, according to May’s VRE CEO’s report. Of the about 700 spaces at the Manassas VRE station, VRE documents show the station is about 30 spaces short of meeting demand. (more…)

McAuliffe and Trump share an idea: Raise the federal gas tax

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe today called on Congress to raise the federal gas tax.

“I think they should raise the gas tax. No one else will say that,” said McAuliffe.

The increased tax could be used to pay for transportation improvements, to include repairing and American Legion Bridge, a structure that connects the state with Maryland on I-495 Capital Beltway he said is in need of repair.

“It’s fine right now, but it needs some work. But what if we had to shut that down? That is a major thoroughfare between Maryland and Virginia,” said McAuliffe.

The governor Congress to find a dedicated source of funding for transportation maintenance and improvements. It’s an idea he shares with President Trump, who last month suggested raising the gas tax not touched since 1993. (more…)

1 flown from I-95 crash that snarled rush-hour traffic at Dale City

All lanes of Interstate 95 south were closed for a brief time about 8 p.m. Tuesday for a crash. 

A car overturned at Dale City near Potomac Mills mall. 

From Virginia State Police: 

“At 7:30 p.m., Virginia State Police responded to a traffic crash in the northbound lanes of I-95 at Exit 156. One vehicle ran off the road, struck the guardrail and overturned. One person was flown to Fairfax Inova Hospital for the treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.”

A helicopter was called to land on the highway to take the patient to a local hospital. The highway was reopened after the helicopter cleared the crash scene.

Interstate 95 Southbound paving begins in Stafford County

I-95 southbound will be reduced to a single lane overnight from north of Exit 133/Route 17 to the Rappahannock River bridge on Monday ? Thursday evenings this week

Fredericksburg– A pavement repair project will close two Interstate 95 southbound lanes overnight in Stafford County on several evenings over the next two weeks between the Route 17 overpass and the Rappahannock River bridge.

Rutting has developed in the vehicle wheel path of the left and center lane of I-95 southbound between the Route 17 overpass and Rappahannock River bridge. Milling the pavement and adding new asphalt is needed to correct the rutting. (more…)

Riders that ‘dump the pump’ will entered to win prizes

From PRTC: 

“The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) is encouraging Prince William County area residents to Dump the Pump by leaving their vehicles at home on June 15 and using transit instead. 

All PRTC riders are encouraged to tell a friend about the benefits of public transportation and invite that friend to ride with them on June 15. After riding, the new rider can take a survey on PRTC’s website so they and their friend can be entered into separate prize drawings. New riders will be entered into a drawing for one of five $20 SmarTrip cards, while the friend who recommended transit will be entered into a drawing for one of five $20 Starbucks gift cards.

The 12th annual Dump the Pump Day is sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, APTA, to highlight the benefits of using public transportation. In 2016, Americans took 10.4 billion trips on public transportation. Among its benefits:

–A two-person household can save, on average, $9,823 a year by downsizing to one car;

–Residential property values performed 42 percent better on average if they were located near public transportation with high-frequency service;

–U.S. public transportation use saved 865 million hours in travel time and 450 million gallons of fuel in 498 urban areas in 2011, according to the latest research;

–87 percent of public transit trips impact the economy; and

–Households near public transit drive an average of 4,400 fewer miles than households with no access to public transit.

Stafford rescue crews called to flipped SUV on Route 610

20170610_182712 (1)

A car overturned on Garrisonville Road about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 10. 

Stafford County fire and rescue crews and deputies from the Stafford sheriff’s office were called to the crash near the intersection of Doc Stone Road and Garrisonville Road (Route 610). There they found an SUV on its top and shattered glass across the roadway.

A driver of a passing car who stopped at the crash scene told Potomac Local glass from the overturned car flew so far that much of it landed on the dash of his car.

We’ve asked Stafford authorities to update us with information on this crash. We’ll post the information when we have it.


No one was trapped inside the car when it crashed. One person was taken to a hospital, according to Stafford fire chief Mark Lockhart.

Update 3 p.m.

From Stafford sheriff’s Maj. Donald R. Lenhart: 

“…a female driver was traveling eastbound, Garrisonville Road exceeding the speed limit.  Her light turned red but she ran it striking a car that was turning left from the shopping center onto westbound Garrisonville RRoad. The vehicle that ran the light is the one on its roof.  The driver of the one on its roof was transported with minor injuries.  No one else was injured or transported.  She was also charged with reckless driving.”

Chong Suk Kerry, 53, is charged in the crash, said Lenhart.


‘Metro’s oldest and least-reliable cars’ to be retired July 1

Metro says its oldest and most unreliable series rail cars will be retired sooner than planned. 

From Metro: 

“Every 1000- and 4000-series railcar — Metro’s oldest and least-reliable cars, respectively — will be decommissioned and permanently removed from passenger service by July 1, months ahead of original projections, Metro announced today.

Under Metro’s Back2Good program, announced earlier this year, Metro had accelerated the retirement of the 1000- and 4000-series railcars as new, more reliable 7000-series railcars arrive, resulting in improved service, fewer offloads and delays. New 7000-series cars are up to six times more reliable than the cars they are replacing, traveling more than 176,000 miles between delays in April. By contrast, Metro’s least-reliable 4000-series cars traveled an average of only 27,259 miles between delays in 2016.”

Improved I-95 interchange at Quantico would improve access from toll lanes

Plans for an improved interchange on Interstate 95 at Quantico are under review.

Engineers are looking at ways to increase access to Quantico Marine Corps Base. Options in the plan include access to and from the I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes via a flyover, like the Joplin Road access, or a slip ramp that allows for smoother transitions, according to Amanda Baxter, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

A northbound flyover exit from the Express Lanes to the existing Russel Road exit off I-95 is proposed, according to Baxter. This movement will allow those heading to Quantico use the Express Lanes if they enter them at the proposed terminus at Exit 133 at Route 17 or from a new park and ride lot being constructed at Courthouse Road (Rt 630) at Exit 140.

There is also a southbound facing slip ramp that’s being evaluated by VDOT just south of Russell Road that will allow vehicles to “slip” into the Express Lanes from the regular travel lanes. Both of these options are under consideration and no decision will be made until sometime this summer. (more…)

Express lanes entrance will be closed overnight

From VDOT: 

“Interstate 95 northbound drivers are advised that the first entrance to I-95 Express Lanes in Stafford County will be closed for several hours overnight for installation of a sign structure.

The northbound entrance to I-95 Express Lanes near Exit 143/Garrisonville Road will be closed from midnight to 4 a.m. on Friday, May 26.

Northbound drivers can access I-95 Express Lanes at the next available entrance, near Exit 152/Dumfries. 

The sign structure is part of the ongoing I-95 Express Lanes Southern Terminus Extension project. The project is extending I-95 Express Lanes approximately 2.5 miles beyond the flyover ramp just north of Garrisonville Road. The new southbound exit ramp is scheduled to open by early 2018, and the northbound entrance ramp will open in summer 2018.”

Walking on the railroad tracks in Manassas is dangerous, deadly, and illegal. These police officers want you to keep out.

A stretch of railroad track between Manassas and Fairfax County had the second-highest number of reported trespassers in Virginia last year.

Today, police from Norfolk-Southern Railway and Manassas police officers were out in force walking along the tracks in Downtown Manassas. The mission: bring attention to a new stepped-up enforcement campaign aimed at keeping people off the tracks or walking alongside them.

“Trying to walk around the front of a train trying to save time… you just never know when that train is going to get permission to move, and when he starts moving, many don’t realize that the engineer can’t see you,” said Hugh McCormack, a special investigator with Norfolk-Southern police.

Last year in Virginia, 17 people were struck by a train, and 10 of those victims died. One of those victims was killed while walking along the tracks at Wellington Road and Godwin Drive in Manassas.

McCormack said many railroad trespassers illegally walk on the tracks to save time. (more…)

I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes operators brace for holiday traffic

From an email: 

Good morning.  We wanted to pass along information regarding 95 Express Lanes Memorial Day weekend travel.  

Drivers are advised to prepare for increased demand on the 95 Express Lanes later this week as many in the region depart for vacation.  In addition, the northbound 95 Express Lanes and I-395 HOV lanes will close weekdays at 10 a.m. for the morning reversal beginning Thursday, May 25.  The early closure will enable southbound travelers to enter the 95 Express Lanes around 11:30 a.m., one hour earlier than the current schedule.  Overnight weekday reversals will continue to take place from about midnight to 2 a.m.  The schedule will remain in place throughout the summer.

To avoid higher-than-average tolls and peak traffic, drivers should depart before noon on Thursday or after 6 p.m. on Friday. 

Beginning the afternoon of Thursday, May 25, through the evening of Friday, May 26, drivers traveling along the 95 Express Lanes corridor should expect heavy traffic volumes and increased demand requiring higher-than-average toll prices to best manage the traffic on the Lanes. (more…)

Driving a truck through Manassas? City leaders say find another way around.

Manassas City leaders on Monday banned trucks from operating on some city thoroughfares.

The city council passed a “no thru truck” ordinance barring trucks longer than 36 feet and semitrailers from operating on these streets:

1. Hastings Drive
2. Cloverhill Road from Hastings Drive to Wellington Road
3. Center Street
4. Grant Avenue from Sudley Road to Wellington Road
5. Stonewall Road from Center Street to Liberia Avenue
6. Centreville Road from Sudley Road to Church Street
7. Liberia Avenue from Centreville Road to Stonewall Road

Now, trucks must only use these roads to pass through the city:

1. Nokesville Road
2. Godwin Drive from Nokesville Road to Sudley Road
3. Wellington Road
4. Liberia Avenue from Hastings Drive to Centreville Road
5. Sudley Road
6. Centreville Road from Sudley Road to City Limits
7. Dumfries Road from Wellington Road to City Limits

Truck drivers may use the roads if “…arriving to or departing from a truck terminal within the City limits, receiving loads within the City limits, or making deliveries within the city limits,” according to city documents.

The new truck routes will be marked by signs. The no-truck will also be noted by road signs.

Police, and fire and rescue vehicles are exempt from the truck ban. (more…)

Updated: Flames engulf car on I-95 south in Woodbridge



A reader sent these photos of a car fire to potomaclocal[at]gmail.com about 9:30 a.m.

The car fire appears to have been on I-95 south near Route 123 in Woodbridge.

We’re checking with Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue for more information.

We’ll post more when we have it.

Update 1:30 p.m. 

A Mini Cooper caught fire this at 9:15 a.m. in the southbound lanes of I-95 in Woodbridge. 

Fire and rescue crews closed two lanes of the highway to douse the blaze. 

No one was injured, according to Prince William County Assistant Chief Matt Smolksy. 

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