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Traffic & Transit

Paving Work Scheduduled for Staffordboro Boulevard

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Road crews this weekend will do more paving work on Staffordboro Boulevard to improve the roadway that runs alongside an improved commuter lot just off Garrisonville Road (Va. 610).

Here’s in a press release:

Paving work will detour traffic on Route 684 (Staffordboro Boulevard) in Stafford County this weekend.  

Staffordboro Boulevard will be closed between Woodstream Boulevard and Alice Court from 7 p.m. on Friday, July 11 to until 5 a.m. on Monday, July 14.  

Motorists should follow posted signs along the detour route, which is Woodstream Boulevard to Pike Place to Staffordboro Boulevard.

This paving work is part of a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) project to add nearly 1,000 new commuter parking spaces to the Staffordboro Boulevard Park & Ride lot.  

VDOT is requiring the contractor to enhance several segments of Staffordboro Boulevard with roller-compacted concrete as a base layer, which can withstand heavier vehicle weights.

Construction of the $12.9 million improvement project is on schedule to open by October 31, 2014. 

Security Increased on PRTC Buses, at Transit Center

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Starting today, drivers on Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) buses will pay closer mind to their surroundings.

The transit agency responsible for transporting commuters from Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park to points in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. on weekdays, has heightened their security.

The higher level of security comes during the Independence Day holiday but is not in response to any specific threat.

Here’s more in a press release:

PRTC will implement heightened security measures on all buses and at the PRTC Transit Center on Thursday, July 3 through Monday, July 7, 2014 based on a special recommendation from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The TSA recommendation is not in response to a specific threat but rather a heightened sense of awareness in Mass Transit, Passenger Rail and overall transportation enterprise. 

What does this mean for our passengers?  You may notice bus operators being especially mindful of the surroundings and of any packages and bags that are on or near the buses.  We ask for your assistance by not leaving any personal belongings unattended at bus stops or on board your bus.  In addition, there will be increased security patrols at the PRTC Transit Center.

If you notice unattended property or see something suspicious, please notify your bus operator, local law enforcement, or call 911.  Remember: If you see something, say something!

PRTC Will Serve Metro’s New Silver Line in Tysons, Discontinue Service to Orange Line

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PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – You’ll soon be able to catch a bus from Prince William County to Metro’s new Silver Line serving Tysons Corner. With the change, PRTC will no longer serve the Vienna or West Falls Church stations on Metro’s Orange Line.

Here’s more in a statement from the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission:

A big change is coming to the Manassas Metro Direct and Linton Hall Metro Direct routes.

Starting Monday, July 28, 2014, both bus routes will serve the Tysons Corner Metro Station where passengers will be able to connect to Metro’s new Silver Line or to other area bus services. Metro has announced that Silver Line train service will start on Saturday, July 26.

The Manassas Metro Direct and Linton Hall Metro Direct routes will discontinue service to the West Falls Church and Vienna Metro stations after Friday, July 25.

Regional transit agencies are changing most of their routes in the area to take advantage of the new Silver Line stations. At the Tysons Corner Metro Station, PRTC passengers will be able to connect with transit services including MetroBus and Fairfax Connector.

Printed Manassas and Linton Hall Metro Direct schedule brochures and online maps and timetables are being revised and will be available in advance of the move.

Construction Crews Hit Gas Line at Pr. William Parkway and Va. 28

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MANASSAS, Va. – Construction crews working in the area of Prince William Parkway and Va. 28 struck a gas line.

Police have a ramp from the parkway to Va. 28 closed at this hour and traffic in the area is slowed. There’s no word yet on how long the repair will take.

Prince William police posted the following information:

*TRAFFIC ALERT [UPDATE]: WESTERN PWC — Nokesville Rd southbound will be reduced to one lane in the area of the Prince William Pkwy due to a gas leak. There is no ETA for repairs at this time. Northbound Nokesville Rd was previously closed but will reopen momentarily.

Fredericksburg Man Dies in I-95 Crash at Dale City

Photo: Mary Davidson

DALE CITY, Va. – A 46-year-old man from Fredericksburg was late Saturday when his car ran off Interstate 95 at Dale City.

Here’s more in a statement from Virginia State Police:

At 10:11 p.m. Saturday (June 22, 2014), Virginia State Police Trooper J.B. Zarkuaskas was called to the scene of a single-vehicle crash in Prince William County.

A 2006 Dodge Caravan was traveling north on I-95. As the van took the Exit 156A ramp, it ran off the right side of the road, struck the ditch, and rode the embankment for approximately 200 feet before overturning onto its roof. Its driver, Bruce L. Dickerson, 46, of Fredericksburg, Va., died at the scene. He was wearing a seat belt.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The exit ramp was closed for approximately 3 hours.

Drivers Cited in HOV Crackdown

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Police officers on highways in Maryland and Virginia cracked down on HOV violators again this week.

A total of 377 drivers were issued first-time offenses for illegally using express lanes. Seven drivers were issues their second offense and 1 driver nabbed their third one.

The traffic enforcement was conducted during rush hour on Thursday and was called “Capital Region HOV Awareness Day.” It included patrols by Maryland State Police, Virginia State Police, Arlington County Police, Fairfax County Police and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police and Prince William County Police.

HOV violators on Interstates 66, 95, 395, and the Dulles Toll Road in Virginia were targeted. In Maryland,

state police conducted its HOV enforcement efforts on Interstate 270.

Here’s more from Virginia State Police:

In addition, Maryland and Virginia law enforcement cited 12 drivers for speeding and reckless driving. Twenty motorists were cited for driving on a suspended license. Law enforcement issued 16 summonses for inspection violations and 12 summonses for expired registrations. Five seat belt violations were cited, along with four child restraint violations. Forty-two motorists were given warnings

for various violations. Two impaired drivers were charged with DUI.

Potomac Shores VRE Station Gets Green Light; Improvements to Stafford Stations Coming

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First on PotomacLocal.com 

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – A new Virginia Railway Express station in Prince William County, and improvements to two stations in Stafford County are coming thanks, in part, to a private developer building the Potomac Shores neighborhood near Dumfries. 

Gov. Terry McAuliffe next month is expected to announce the construction of a new VRE station at Potomac Shores, a new 2,000 acre community on the banks of the Potomac River in Prince William County.

The long-awaited commnuter rail station is expected to be a catalyst of growth for the area, one that will attract new residents to homes, as well as workers to new offices and businesses to a future town center that will be erected around the VRE station.

While home construction at Potomac Shores is well underway, the VRE station has been a lynchpin in the development of the property on the Potomac River that last month opened its public golf course designed by golf great Jack Nicklaus.

“The new station will bring things to the peninsula that we need,” said Prince William County Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan. “…It will have a tremendous impact not just for folks who live in the area…they will now be able to get onto the trains and [stop commuting] on Route 1.”

The new station will be funded entirely by California-based developer, SunCal, which is developing Potomac Shores.

The new station won’t be the only VRE improvement funded by the developer. New concrete waiting platforms will be added at the Leeland and Brooke VRE commuter rail stations in Stafford County.

The new platforms, at a combined cost of about $30,100, will be built across from the current station platforms on the opposite of the tracks. They should provide more capacity for waiting passengers and should improve on-time performance throughout VRE’s Fredericksburg line.

The platforms will be paid for, in part, with funds from SunCal and by federal and state funds. As it sits now, SunCal will cover half of the cost of the construction of the new platforms and and public monies from the Rail Enhancement Fund will cover the other half.

An an official announcement Gov. Terry McAuliffe about the extended platforms is expected to be forthcoming and included in the announcement about the new rail station in Prince William County.  Talked about since the early 2000s, construction of the Potomac Shores station — once known as the Cherry Hill station — has long been held up by the recession and the slow-to develop neighborhood.

“The Governor has always been a strong advocate for rail and public transportation that will ease congestion and provide more pathways for families, our workforce, and businesses to connect with communities within and outside the Commonwealth—something especially critical for Northern Virginia,” a McAuliffe spokeswoman said.

The platform extensions along the rail line are just some projects that will receive some $13.1 billion in transportation funding allocated to them over the next six years.

“This will be a much needed improvement that ties in nicely with out parking lot expansions and proposed increased of service,” said Stafford County Aquia District Supervisor Paul Milde.

Milde also has a seat on the VRE Operations Board and says the platform expansions will come at a time when the parking lots at the Brooke and Leeland stations have been expanded, and at a time when VRE is planning to add a new train to the Fredericksburg line to increase capacity on its system, to carry more commuters from the Virginia suburbs to Washington, D.C.

In Northern Virginia, the funding list includes $35 million to complete a environmental study of Interstate 66 from the Capital Beltway to Haymarket — a stretch of highway where the addition of high-occupancy toll lanes are being considered, much like the ones being built now on I-95 in Prince William and Stafford counties.

A total of $50 million will also be spent to design a new interchange at I-66 and Va. 28 in Centreville, just west of Manassas. Other improvement projects in the state’s six-year plan also include the addition of a mile and a half long shoulder lane at the end of the Express Lanes on Interstate 495, just north of Tysons Corner, which will ease congestion by accommodating more vehicles.

Of the money going for transit improvements, McAuliffe’s office noted that funding for a transit center in Arlington, transit funding for the 95 Express Lanes project, and the Potomac Shores VRE station are top priorities.

Construction of the two new platforms in Stafford County is slated to move forward in July 2018 and should open for service two years later.

New station platforms will be added to the Lorton station and Rippon station in Woodbridge and each is slated to open in 2017 and 202o, respectively. These platforms are not apart of the packaged improvements associated with the Potomac Shores VRE station or platform extensions in Stafford County.

When the new Potomac Shores VRE station opens,  Caddigan says it will take more cars off area roads and provide a new commuting option for those living in Prince William County developments such as Southbridge, Brittany, Ashland, and Montclair.

Currently, those who live near Dumfries have the option of driving to VRE stations in Quantico and Woodbridge.

Stafford Explores Acquiring Abandoned Home on U.S. 1, Demolishing It, Erecting Traffic Light

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – The donation of a home could lead to a better, safer U.S. 1.

Stafford County leaders are expected to learn more this week about a home at 3298 Jefferson Davis Highway in North Stafford. The home on the corner of U.S. 1 and Woodstock Lane is owned by Janet Borden, and the total property is valued at $114,300, according to county documents.

The house sits on the opposite corner of Taylor’s Grocery / Aquia Creek Outfitters.

If donated, the home would be demolished to make way for an improved intersection that would include a signal light at U.S. 1 and Woodstock Lane. This would mean drivers traveling on nearby Telegraph Road who are used to going to the southernmost point of Telegraph Road and turning onto U.S. 1 — an intersection that sits at a dangerous angle — could instead turn onto Woodstock Lane from Telegraph Road, and then turn left onto U.S. 1 south or right onto U.S. 1 north.

It would remove the need for drivers to make a turn at a dangerous intersection where Telegraph Road meets U.S. 1 at the Aquia Crucifix, a monument symbolizing the Brent Colony in Stafford County that encouraged members of all faiths to settle in the area in the 1640s.

“Drivers going south of Telegraph Road are forced to make a left turn on Route 1 at what is an intersection that is at a bad angle, which makes it hard to make a left turn,” said Stafford County Deputy Administrator Keith Dayton.

There is not a signal light at the intersection at the crucifix, and making current traffic conditions worse is ongoing roadwork on a bridge that carries traffic on U.S. 1 over Aquia Creek. Traffic backs up here, especially when drivers on a congested Interstate 95 jump onto U.S. 1 during rush hour.

VDOT is studying just how much a signal light at U.S. 1 and Woodstock Lane would cost as well as how it would be built, said Dayton. The results of the study could be made available in about two weeks.

Improvements will also need to be made to Woodstock Lane. Currently, the narrow road is a difficult one for large vehicles to travel.

“It’s hard for school buses to get down the road because it’s so narrow and it’s almost impossible for big trucks to turn onto it,” said Dayton.

The house at 3298 Jefferson Davis Highway is not occupied at this time and is uninhabitable, according to county documents. Stafford would pay all closing costs for the sale as well as cover the $10,000 cost of demolishing the house.

*This story has been corrected.

VRE Offering Rides to D.C.’s July 4 Fireworks Show

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WOODBRIDGE, Va. – It’s been 10 years since a Virginia Railway Express train rolled on the 4th of July.

This year, VRE trains will once again bring passengers from Virginia to Washington’s Union Station so they can attend the National Mall Independence Day Celebration, which offers the area’s most spectacular fireworks show, or A Capitol Fourth concert to be held on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

“We hadn’t done it in 10 years so we said ‘let’s give it a try again,’” said VRE spokesman Bryan Jungwirth.

Two “Firecracker Special” trains will run this Independence Day – one on the Fredericksburg line and the Manassas line, leaving the Leeland Road station in Stafford County at 3:45 p.m., and the Manassas Park station at 4:45 p.m., respectively.

The Fredericksburg line train will serve several stations along the line to include Leland Road, Brooke, Quantico, Woodbridge, and Lorton, and the Manassas line train will serve the Manassas Park, Burke Centre, and Backlick Road stations.

Both trains will drop off passengers at Union Station – the Fredericksburg train at 5:34 p.m. and the Manassas train at 5:58 p.m. It’s a about a 20 minute walk from Union Station to the National Mall where the Independence Day festivities are held.

Fireworks begin at 9:10 p.m. and last for a full 17 minutes. They’re launched from the base of the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln and World War II memorials and the Washington Monument.

After the show, VRE passengers will need to head back to Union Station to catch their trains. The Fredericksburg train leaves at 10:45 p.m. and the Manassas train at 11 o’clock.

There’s a total of 1,000 tickets on sale for each train. Each round-trip ticket cost $10 and can be purchased online.

A total of 392 tickets for the Fredericksburg train and 142 tickets on the Manassas train had been purchased as of Thursday afternoon. The trains will still run as scheduled even if the tickets do not sell out.

“We might run less cars on the trains if the tickets don’t sell out but the trains will run,” said Jungwirth.

The Firecracker Special is one of three special events VRE will operate trains for this year. The railroad ran a special train at the Manassas Heritage Railroad Festival earlier this month, and it’ll run another special train for Clifton Day in October.

VRE hopes that some people who normally cannot ride the train to work are able to take a ride on the Firecracker Special.

Boswells Corner Road Work Ramps Up, Residents say Flooding at Homes Persists

A rendering of what Boswell's Corner in North Stafford could look like as the area continues to grow.

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – A new bridge on Telegraph Road means drivers can get to work faster, and it has also led to more flooding at homes along the two-lane road.

Each time it rains, homeowners say water rushes into yards located next to a new bridge that carries drivers on Telegraph Road in North Stafford’s Boswell’s Corner from U.S. 1 to the large Russell-Knox Building on Quantico Marine Corps Base. The reconstructed bridge opened in March after being closed for nine months. It was rebuilt to accommodate new high occupancy toll lanes on Interstate 95 that runs beneath it.

“Under my house is horrible,” said Ola Jackson, 63, whose lived in the house all her life.

Water not only runs into Jackson’s yard but also up to and underneath her house where it pools. She’s had to drill holes into the bottom of her home to release the water, and a portion of the floor insider her home is wet.

“We’re trying to let it dry out so we can repair it,” said Jackson.

Kimberly Wood and her husband live near Jackson and bought their home on Telegraph Road five years ago. She’s says the neighborhood is quiet and that the young couple has put a lot of work into their home, so they don’t want to leave. They just want the mud problem to go away.

“There’s like a river the back yard – it’s pretty bad,” said Wood.

State transportation officials told Jackson and Wood last week they would look into who is responsible for the flooding, which could ultimately lead to a fix. Those same officials were also showing plans for new work that is about to begin on U.S. 1 near the new bridge, where some turn lanes will be created, extended, and some lanes widened to accommodate more traffic in the area.

Construction crews next month will begin taking all or part of seven parcels of land located on the east side of U.S. 1 at Telegraph Road, near the busy Quantico Corporate Center which is home to several businesses and a science and technology research park. A right turn lane from U.S. 1 north to Telegraph Road will be extended. A left turn lane from U.S. 1 south onto Telegraph Road will be widened, and that means the travel lanes of U.S. 1 north must be widened to accommodate the new lane widths.

A new turn lane from Telegraph Road to U.S. 1 south will also be added, improving the two-lane route drivers use to get on and off the military base.

The construction should be complete by September. It is not apart of a larger study that ultimately calls for widening U.S. 1 from four to six lanes from Telegraph Road to Joplin Road in Prince William County.

PRTC Redesigns Website, Integrates Google Transit

Many riders begin and end their commutes, or transfer to other PRTC buses at the agency’s Transit Center in Woodbridge.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – A newly redesigned website and Google should help bus riders better plan their trip.

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission that operates OmniLink local bus service and OmniRide commuter bus service has implemented Google Transit information on its newly redesigned website. The information allows users to log onto Google, plug in their destination, and find out which is the fastest route to take by way of public transportation.

The Google integration appears on the agency’s new website, and Google transit data also includes information from other area transit companies like Metro and Fairfax Connector bus service.

“Having PRTC bus information included on Google Transit is a useful tool for both seasoned and occasional riders,” said PRTC Executive Director Alfred Harf in a press release. “By making transit services more comprehensible, Google Transit becomes a catalyst for convincing those who don’t regularly use public transportation to give it a try.”

There is also a new trip planner feature on PRTC’s website, under the rider tools section, that allows users to search for bus stops as well as routes. This is the first time the website has been updated since 2008, and it comes on the heels of a new RiderExpress email notification service that was updated late last year.

While the online trip planner is available online all day, every day, PRTC has customer service agents available for questions from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling 703-730-6664.

Plans Ready for U.S. 1 Improvements at Quantico Corporate Center

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NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – The Quantico Corporate Center on U.S 1 in North Stafford’s Boswell’s Corner is growing.

Now home to a group of technology firms, government contractors, and the new Stafford Research and Technology Park, the influx of people the center draws has prompted new transportation improvements for the four-lane highway on which it sits.

Tonight, federal and state transportation officials will present plans for improving the Boswell’s Corner area, where U.S. 1 meets Telegraph Road, which also serves as an entrance to Quantico Marine Corps Base.

Officials say they work to improve the following areas:

  • Design turning lane improvements based on the government provided conceptual plan;
  • Construct an eastbound Telegraph Road to southbound Rte 1 turning lane, on Telegraph Road West of U.S. Rte 1;
  • Lengthen the U.S. Rte 1 northbound left turn lane;
  • Provide connections to all driveways connecting to U.S. Route 1 and maintain access during construction.

Tonight’s public meeting is advertised as an open forum exchange between project officials and those who will work to improve the intersection. It will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. at University of Maryland University College at Quantico Corporate Center, 525 Corporate Drive in Stafford.

Project officials have placed documents online for review.

‘MyLink’ Teen Summer Bus Pass On Sale, Offers Discounts at Area Attractions

New OmniLink buses that serve Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park. The buses have a new look more aligned with the overall color scheme for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission. [Submitted photo]

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Teens can rely on OmniLink once again this summer to get around town.

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation is now selling its MyLink pass for teens, formerly known as the teen summer bus pass. The $30 pass is good for unlimited rides on OmniLink local buses that service Dale City, Dumfries, Lake Ridge, Quantico, Woodbridge, Manassas, and Manassas Park, as well as the Cross-County Connector bus that runs between Manassas and Woodbridge.

The transit agency released a statement on where to get the MyLink pass which will be sold through August 1. The pass is valid through August 30 and also comes with several discounts on area entertainment.

Here’s more in a statement from PRTC:

Teens ages 13-19 may use MyLink on OmniLink and Cross County Connector buses between Monday, June 2 and Saturday, August 30, 2014.  The pass costs $30, and in return teens get an unlimited number of local bus rides for the entire summer!  With the cost of a regular one-way bus ride currently at $1.30, a teen who takes at least 12 round-trips during the summer will save money by riding with a MyLink pass.  Passes will be sold at multiple locations from June 2 – August 1, 2014.

Getting three months of unlimited bus rides for $30 is a bargain, but teens can save even more when they showing their MyLink pass at these attractions:

– Potomac Nationals, Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge –$1 off general admission at Friday home games;
– Prince William Ice Center, 5180 Dale Boulevard, Woodbridge –$2 off public skate entry;
– Bowl America, 13409 Occoquan Road, Woodbridge and 9000 Mathis Avenue, Manassas – one free game per visit, per day;
– Manassas 4 Cinemas, 8890 Mathis Avenue, Manassas – $1 off admission on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays;
– Stonewall Pool, 8531 Stonewall Road, Manassas – $1 off admission.

With MyLink, teens won’t need to borrow the family car or beg for gas money to get around town.  MyLink enables teens to have a safe, reliable ride to get to summer jobs, shopping centers, recreation centers, libraries and lots of other places where they want to go.

For the convenience of teens and their parents, passes will be sold June 2 – August 1 at:

– The PRTC Transit Center, at the intersection of Potomac Mills Road and Telegraph Road in Woodbridge, Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
– Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center (cash or credit only), Monday – Thursday 5 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday 5 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
– Sharron Baucom – Dale City Recreation Center (cash or credit only), Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
– Ben Lomond Community Center (cash or credit only), Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
– Manassas City Hall Treasurer’s Office (cash only), Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
– Manassas Park City Hall Treasurer’s Office (cash only), Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 3-5 p.m.

Teens who have a photo ID should bring it with them when purchasing a MyLink pass because a sticker will be applied to the front of their ID.  Teens who don’t have a photo ID will be given a MyLink card with a sticker.  Teens simply show their ID or MyLink card to the bus operator each time they board.

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, PRTC, provides transportation services in Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.  OmniLink local buses serve routes in Manassas and Manassas Park on Mondays through Fridays and serve routes in Dale City, Dumfries, Lake Ridge, Quantico, the Route 1 Corridor and Woodbridge on Mondays through Saturdays.  The Cross County Connector operates Mondays through Fridays and connects eastern Prince William County with the Manassas area.

MyLink is one of three PRTC programs designed to educate youth about public transportation.  PRTC also offers a preschool and elementary program focusing on bus safety, and a middle school program that shows how public transportation helps to preserve our environment and natural resources.

For more information about MyLink or any of PRTC’s transportation services, contact Customer Service at (703) 730-6664 or visit PRTCtransit.org. 

Crash Prompts Major Delays Monday Afternoon

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NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Stuck in traffic on U.S. 1 or Garrisonville Road (Va. 610) Monday evening?

A crash involving four vehicles occurred just before 4:30 p.m. Several people were taken to an area hospital for treatment, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

The crash forced the closure of all lanes of U.S. 1 and Va. 610 and caused major backups throughout North Stafford.

Expect HOV Lanes to Close Tonight, Reopen Sunday

Photo: Mary Davidson

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – The HOV lanes on Interstate 95 and 395 will close this weekend.

Here’s more in a press release from VDOT:

This Friday night, May 30, through Sunday morning, June 1, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will close the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-95/395 from the D.C. line to Dumfries, just south of Exit 152 (Route 234). The HOV lanes will close at 11 p.m. on Friday night through 10 a.m. Saturday morning, and again on Saturday night at 11 p.m., opening Sunday morning by 10 a.m. heading north.

As part of the 95 Express Lanes construction, the closures will allow crews to continue work on overhead sign structures, pull fiber optic lines that are needed for future tolling equipment, mill and pave the new lanes, and finish bridge work.

In addition, beginning at 11 p.m. tonight, two right lanes will be closed on I-95 North from Exit 152 to the truck scales as crews shift traffic to make room for construction of a retaining wall. On Saturday morning, May 31, the lanes will reopen and crews will work on the left area of the pavement, requiring a mobile lane closure. Work will include paving and lane marking, and installation of signage.  All work is expected to be completed by 9 a.m., Saturday Morning, May 31.  In case of rain, this work will be moved to Saturday night through Sunday morning.

 

*Single lane closure may be implemented earlier*

Gainesville Woman Killed in Crash

Photo: Mary Davidson

A Gainesville woman was killed this past weekend on Interstate 95 this weekend.

Here’s the latest form Virginia State Police:

Virginia State Police Trooper K.W. Peterson responded to a two-vehicle crash in Prince George County, Va. The crash occurred May 22, 2014, at 4:40 p.m. in the southbound lanes of I-95 near the 42 mile marker.

A tractor-trailer was southbound on I-95 in the right lane when it ran off the right side of the interstate and struck a 2007 Hyundai Elantra that was parked on the right shoulder. The driver of the parked Elantra was seated in the passenger side of the vehicle and thrown from the car when it was struck by the tractor-trailer. Meanwhile, the tractor-trailer jackknifed in the tree line off the right side of the interstate.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Henry W. Vann Jr., 65, of Ahoskie, N.C., was not injured in the crash. He was wearing a seat belt. Vann was charged with reckless driving.

The driver of the Elantra, Rachel E. Gradia, 24, of Gainesville, Va., was transported to VCU Medical Center in Richmond, where she died May 24, 2014.

The crash remains under investigation.

Travel Time Maps Help Drivers Plan for Memorial Day Exodus

Commuters use the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-95 in Woodbridge. (Uriah Kiser/PotomacLocal.com)

Nearly 1 million people will hit the roads this Memorial Day weekend, and AAA Mid-Atlantic wants you to make sure your car is ready for travel.

“With approximately 811,000 Washington Metro area residents expected to travel by car during the holiday, many motorists could unfortunately be left stranded away from home this weekend if they haven’t properly prepared their vehicles,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs in a press release. “Since this job carries with it inherent dangers, all motorists are urged to give roadside responders room to work. Slow down and or move over when you encounter flashing lights at the roadside so these highway heroes can perform their job safely.”

This weekend is the start to the summer travel season with many Washington area residents headed to the shore or the mountains. Those who are staying home will need to be ready to share the roads with an increased number of motorcyclists for Sunday’s annual Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom rally at the Pentagon and then into Washington, D.C.

In addition to back ups on area roads, this also means there will be some changes to highways throughout Virginia and in Maryland to accommodate Memorial Day travelers. All scheduled construction lane closures in Virginia will be lifted from from noon Friday, May 23, until noon Tuesday, May 27.

I-95 and HOV lanes 

If history has anything to do with it, get ready to see some major delays on Interstate 95 in Prince William and Stafford counties about noon Friday. The Virginia Department of Transportation has complied travel maps with data from the past three years to indicate when and were highway backups are the worst.

Traffic patterns on the HOV lanes between Dumfries and the Pentagon will change. Here’s the schedule posted by VDOT:

NORTHERN VIRGINIA HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE (HOV) SCHEDULE

Friday, May 23: Normal HOV-3 restrictions are in effect. Interstate 95/395 reversible lanes will be southbound starting at 1 p.m.

Saturday, May 24: I-95/395 reversible lanes remain southbound until 2 p.m. and switch to northbound by 4 p.m.

Sunday, May 25: I-95/395 reversible lanes remain northbound all day, but will be closed to regular traffic for the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Monday, May 26: HOV restrictions on Interstate 66 and I-95/395 are lifted. I-95/395 reversible lanes remain northbound all day.

More information on Northern Virginia HOV schedules can be found at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hov-novasched.asp.

Virginia Beach and Outer Banks

Headed to Virginia Beach or to Outer Banks in North Carolina? Here’s what you need to know:

HAMPTON ROADS HOV SCHEDULE, TUNNELS AND OTHER INFORMATION

Interstate 64 HOV lanes: On Monday, May 26, HOV restrictions will be lifted on I-64. The reversible roadway will operate as normally scheduled throughout the weekend.

Interstate 64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT): Motorists traveling to Virginia Beach are encouraged to use the Interstate 664 Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) as an alternative to the HRBT. To Virginia Beach, take I-664 south to the MMMBT. Then take the Portsmouth/Norfolk exit (exit 15A) to Interstate 264 east to Virginia Beach.

Travel to the Outer Banks: Motorists going to the North Carolina Outer Banks should use I-664 and the MMMBT to save time. From I-664 south, take I-64 west to exit 292, Chesapeake Expressway/Interstate 464/U.S. 17. Keep left to continue to the Chesapeake Expressway (Route 168), and take Nags Head/Great Bridge exit 291B to the Outer Banks.

Jamestown-Scotland Ferry: The summer schedule is in effect beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The ferry schedule can be viewed online at: www.virginiadot.org/travel/ferry-jamestown.asp.

Highway Advisory Radio (HAR): Tune to 1680 AM to stay informed on Hampton Roads traffic and travel conditions and construction information.

Eastern Shore, Ocean City, Md. and Delaware beaches 

If the Eastern Shore, Ocean City, Md., or the Delaware beaches are your destination this Memorial Day weekend, the Maryland Transportation Authority wants you to know the best time to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

The MDTA offers the following travel tips for this holiday weekend and throughout the summer months:

Travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this weekend include:

Thursday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Friday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Saturday – before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.

Sunday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Memorial Day Monday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Don’t Wing It. Plan Ahead!

Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions.

Visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras at the Bay Bridge and to sign up for email alerts.

Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.

Ease your travel with E-ZPass. Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll on-line and for a list of E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations.

Know Before You Go – call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information. To view traffic cameras on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.

For toll rates, visit mdta.maryland.gov and click on Toll Rate Calculator. The current cash toll rate for two-axle vehicles at the Bay Bridge is $6.Consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 in your travel route to the Eastern Shore.

Road Work Ramps Up in East End, County Managing Record Number of Projects

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Orange cones, lane closures, and traffic delays have been a common sight in the eastern part of Prince William County as of late.

That’s because there’s more roadwork happening now then there has been in many years. In fact, Prince William County’s Department of Transportation is managing more transportation projects at one time than ever before.

So, what’s being done? PotomacLocal.com took a tour of the projects to provide you a better idea of the street improvements, to tell you how they’ll improve your commute, and, most importantly, to tell you when they’ll be finished.

Prince William Parkway widening

The heavily-used Prince William Parkway is being widened from four to six lanes between Minnieville and Old Bridge roads. The work began back in September when crews began to relocate utility lines along the roadway.

The widened road will also include a new sidewalk on the westbound side of the road, and a new trail on the eastbound side. With its completion, walkers, runners, and bicyclist will now have a full trail that links Interstate 95 in the east with I-66 in the west. The total project is slated to cost $13.5 million and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Telegraph Road Commuter Lot expansion 

There never seems to be enough commuter parking around here, so that’s why an additional 730 parking spaces are being added next to the state’s largest commuter lot, the Horner Road Lot, at the newly constructed Telegraph Road Lot, at the intersection of Caton Hill and Telegraph Roads in Woodbridge.

The need for this lot became very apparent when, back in 2011, Potomac Mills mall announced they would add new restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory and Bahama Breeze, and that some 1,000 parking spaces used daily at was once a popular commuter lot would be reduced to just 250.

“We had to get going on this project and respond fast,” said Prince William County Transportation Department Director Thomas Blazer.

The location of the commuter lot was once home to CommmuteRide, what OmniRide was once known as, where it stored its fleet of commuter buses. Today, OmniRide buses on weekdays take riders from and to Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park to Washington and Arlington.

In keeping with its transit-oriented history, the commuter lot also has bike racks to lock up their bikes, and storage lockers where riders can stash their gear during the day.

While our region’s tough winter weather slowed the project a bit, the lot is expected to be completed within the next two weeks at a cost of $5.56 million.

U.S. 1 from Neabsco Mills Road to Featherstone Road

Have you ever driven U.S. 1 and wondered why you lose a lane when you get near Dale Boulevard? It seems transportation officials wondered the same thing, too, and now they’re working to fix it.

U.S. 1 is being widened from four to six lanes between Neabsco Mills Road north to Featherstone Road. It’ll cost $43.1 million, and will help more commuters get through the clogged artery often used as a bailout route when traffic stacks up on nearby Interstate 95.

This project is unique as it cuts through a neighborhood lined with commercial properties such as shopping centers, car dealerships, and doctors offices. There’s also new apartment homes coming up in the area not far from Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center, home of a Wegmans grocery store, and soon to be home of the Potomac Nationals minor league baseball team.

The road widening will be completed in phases. The first is Neabsco Mills Road to Dale Boulevard, where orange cones already line the road and work is well underway. The second, also under construction, is from Dale Boulevard to Delaware Drive where the Misty Ridge Apartments and PS Business Center are located.

The third and final phase of the project is from Delaware Drive to Featherstone Road. That phase is in what’s known as the right-of-way acquisition and design phase, where officials examine what properties they will need to demolish to make way for a wider road.

Also going away with this project is the above-ground power lines that stretch along U.S. 1. Crews will bury them at a cost of about $15 million.

Crews will have have to take three properties and several businesses to complete the widening. They are:

– Shell gas station
— Cash Point car title loans
— Tactical Solutions
— Best Barbershop
— Safe Solutions Locksmith
— Fox Motors, Inc
— Potomac Auto body

Heritage Center Parkway at National Museum of the Marine Corps

There’s more expansion going on at the National Center of the Marine Corps with the expansion of the Heritage Center Parkway. The parkway, which already takes visitors to the museum grounds from U.S. 1 at Quantico, will be about a half-mile long when completed. A new, second entrance is being added just south of the current entrance to the museum and the parkway extended allowing drivers to use either entrance.

The work — a partnership between the Marine Corps museum, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Virginia, and Prince William County — is expected to be complete a year from now.

The project also includes the new Timothy T. Day Overlook that will allow visitors to view the museum grounds from a higher vantage point on the property.

The $5.76 million project hit a snag when soil tests revealed poor dirt on the site of the parkway project. More soil testing has been ordered, and county officials are working with the developer to alternative solutions for the problem.

Watermain Break Being Repaired in Woodbridge

[Submitted photo]

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Crews are working to repair a watermain break on Golansky Boulevard near Prince  William Parkway and  a BJs Wholesale Club in Woodbridge.

A rusted bolt valve is the cause of the leak. Virginia American Water maintains the water lines and says drivers should avoid the area today.

Here is what the company is saying through statements on social media:

Latest update:

Crews have identified a rusted bolt valve as the cause of the leak. They will make a temporary repair to get water back on by 12:00 noon today to the businesses affected, and then they’ll come back tonight after closing to make the permanent repair.

Access to the plaza is available through several entrances, just not at the Noblewood and Golansky entrance, which will take all day to repair.

Here is what the company stated after first getting word of the break:

Dale City Customers: We are on scene at Golansky Blvd and Noble Pond Ct near PW Parkway to address a watermain break. Please avoid that intersection today. Breaks like these usually take about 6-8 hours to fix, depending on severity, location and other factors.

There will likely be some outages in the vicinity while we address the break. We will post info here as we receive it.

The photo used in this story is a file photo from a watermain break that occurred in 2013 on U.S. 1 in Dumfries.

HOV Lanes Closing This Weekend for Fiber Installation

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – If you’re sitting in traffic on Interstate 95 and 395 this weekend, don’t count on any relief from the HOV lanes between Dumfries and the Pentagon. The lanes will close for ongoing work as they are being converted to express toll lanes.

Here’s the latest from the Virginia Department of Transportation:

This Friday night, May 16, through Sunday, May 18, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will close the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-95/395 from the D.C. line to Dumfries, just south of Exit 152 (Route 234). The HOV lanes will close at 11 p.m. on Friday night, and remain closed until Sunday afternoon, when they will reopen heading north by 2 p.m.

As part of the 95 Express Lanes construction, the full closure enables crews to continue work on barrier placement, overhead sign structures, fiber optic lines that are needed for future tolling equipment, mill and pave the new lanes, and finish bridge work.

For the Memorial Day weekend, closures will be suspended between noon on Friday, May 23, through noon on Tuesday, May 27, in accordance with the holiday lane closure policy.

The 95 Express Lanes are 75 percent complete and on-track to be completed by the end of the year, and open in early 2015. The 95 Express Lanes will use dynamic tolls to keep traffic flowing and provide a more predictable travel option on I-95 between Route 610 in Stafford County to just north of the Capital Beltway. The 95 Express Lanes are being delivered through a public-private partnership between VDOT and Transurban-Fluor.

Updated: Suspicious Package Halts Traffic at Broad Run Commuter Rail Station

Picture 1 of 3

11:40 a.m.

Police report the suspicious package turned out to be harmless.

10:40 a.m. 

MANASSAS, Va. – No trains are moving at this hour past Virginia Railway Express’ Airport-Broad Run station outside Manassas.

A suspicious package found at the commuter rail station, at the Manassas Regional Airport, has prompted police to block traffic from entering or exiting the facility on Observation Road.

The package appears to have been found in the station’s parking lot. The station’s platform where commuters board VRE trains.

A explosives unit from Quantico Marine Corps Base arrived at the station just before 10:30 a.m.

At least two trains bound for Manassas were seen stopped on the tracks. In addition to VRE trains, Amtrak’s Northeast Regional train and fright trains from Norfolk Southern also use the lines.

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