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Traffic & Transit

Traffic
‘Rehabilitation of the nearly 50-year-old Old Centreville Road bridge over Bull Run has been completed’

From an email: 

Rehabilitation of the nearly 50-year-old Old Centreville Road bridge over Bull Run has been completed, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Construction began in January, with bridge traffic reduced from two lanes to one. Traffic was controlled via temporary traffic signals, which allowed the project to be completed more quickly. The bridge reopened to two lanes in late August.

The $4 million project was completed on time and under budget. The contractor was Martins Construction Corporation of Falls Church.

The bridge was built in 1968 and averages about 13,000 vehicles a day.

Traffic
Public hearings set for $6 billion high-speed rail project

A series of public meetings will be held to discuss options for high-speed rail in Northern Virginia.

Located on the existing rail corridor that runs along the Potomac River in Prince William and Stafford counties, the “DC to Richmond Southeast High-Speed Rail,” or DC2RVA, service would add a third track along the corridor to improve passenger, commuter, and freight rail.

Planners say the project, which could top $6 billion and is dependent upon federal funding, will make rail a competitive transportation option in the Washington, D.C. region. They say it’s needed because of population growth in the region, increasing freight rail traffic (which has the right-of-way on the rails over passenger trains), and congestion on Interstate 95.

The trains would travel at about 110-mph along the 123-mile corridor from the Long Bridge Potomac River crossing in Arlington to Richmond. So, the speed wouldn’t be as fast as high-speed rail in other countries which can reach top speeds of over 300 mph, but it would be faster than the speeds of current Amtrak trains that travel at top speeds of about 80 mph.

In their current study, planners broke up the project into five sections, with the Northern Virginia section running from the Crystal City Virginia Railway Express Station to southern Stafford County. The projected cost to build this section is one of the costliest along the line at $1.6 billion. (more…)

Traffic
‘It is getting worse every day.’ We’re holding traffic think tank on Davis Ford and Yates Ford roads

Prince William County Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson, her team, and Potomac Local will hold an Occoquan District Traffic Think Tank on Thursday, Oct. 19 at Buckhall Volunteer Fire Department Station at 7190 Yates Ford Road.

 Davis Ford and Yates Ford roads are two very busy thoroughfares commuters from Prince William County use to get to Fairfax County. 

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s a comment left on Potomac Local about just how bad the two roads are: 

“It is getting worse every day. I commuted that way to and from Oakton for 15 yrs until 1998 and it was not easy then. My hubby never believed me BUT he has commuted that way for the last 7 yrs and is miserable. His commute is 21 miles one way and its taking him 1.5 hrs to get home on a good day. God forbid there is a disabled car or accident because there is no way to get around it and no alternate route. Can’t even turn around. He leaves home at o”dark:30 in the mornings when school is in session. Two lane roads and the buses stop at every single driveway. More and more are using these back roads because 28 >29> Fairfax is an even longer and messier commute. The root cause is that there are few viable ways to get to Fairfax from Eastern PWC. I-95..nope. Route 123…packed. 28>29…lord no.”

The event is free to attend and is open to the public, but you must register and get your tickets. While there, you’ll be able to learn more about Davis Ford and Yates Ford road corridors, hear from elected officials on what can be done about the problem, take our commuter survey, and suggest your solutions to the problem.

Here’s a map of Davis Ford and Yates Ford roads in case you don’t know which roads we’ll be talking about. 

This latest traffic think tank is the second in which we’ve collaborated on with Anderson. This past spring, we welcomed about 100 people to Waters End Brewery, had a few cold ones, and talked about solutions to the issues plaguing drivers on Old Bridge Road.

 

Traffic
Grand opening of The Wharf expected to delay OmniRide passengers

From a press release:

OmniRide passengers should anticipate significant delays this evening due to the grand opening of The Wharf, which is expected to bring 20,000 people to Southeast D.C., and Game 5 of the baseball playoffs at Nationals Park.

Some OmniRide buses that serve routes in that area later serve other routes, so any delays in getting into the District this afternoon and serving area bus stops could have a ripple effect for commuters on all OmniRide routes. (more…)

Traffic
Updated: Driver dies Thursday morning in wrong-way crash on Interstate 95

One man was killed in an early-morning crash on Interstate 95 in Stafford County when he drove the wrong way onto the southbound traffic lanes.

From Virginia State Police: 

On Thursday October 12, Virginia State Police responded to a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred at approximately 2:30 am on Interstate 95 Southbound just north of the Centreport Parkway exit at the 136 mile marker in Stafford County. 

The crash involved two vehicles.  The first vehicle was a 2003 Dodge Van that had entered I95 at the Centreport Parkway exit and was headed northbound in the southbound lanes.  Just north of the exit the van struck a southbound 2007 Peterbuilt tractor trailer head on the center lane.  Both drivers were transported to Mary Washington Hospital.  The driver of the van died as the result of injuries sustained in the identity is pending notification of the family. 

The crash closed the southbound lanes and southbound traffic was detoured at the Stafford Exit located at the 140 mile marker.  All lane of southbound I95 were open to traffic at 7:15 am.  The crash and its causative factors are still under investigation at this time by Trooper K. W. Comer who was assisted by VDOT, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and Stafford County Fire and Rescue units.

The crash was cleared about 7 a.m. Prior to that, Virginia Department of Transportation crews worked to clean up a resulting fuel spill while traffic was redirected. 

From VDOT: 

All I-95 southbound traffic is being detoured to Route 1 southbound at Courthouse Road in Stafford. Traffic can travel Route 1 southbound to Centreport Parkway, where they can re-enter I-95 southbound at the Exit 136 (Centreport Parkway) interchange.

A multi-vehicle crash occurred near Exit 136 on I-95 southbound. Crews are working to clear the scene and contain spilled fuel.  

Stafford area travelers should expect significant travel delays during the morning rush hour period on I-95 southbound and Route 1 southbound. Three miles of congestion exists leading up to the incident scene.

Update

The driver of the van died as the result of injuries sustained in the crash at Mary Washington Hospital at 6:40 am.  The driver of the van is identified as Darwin William Hogan, age 21 of Fredericksburg, VA. 

The driver of the tractor trailer was treated for minor injuries at Mary Washington Hospital.  The driver of the tractor trailer is identified as Jeffery Dewayne Edwards, age 55 of Hillsborough, NC.

Traffic
Service Authority to begin lining sewer mains along Telegraph Road

From Prince William County Service Authority:

The Prince William County Service Authority has begun performing important rehabilitation work on the sanitary sewer system in easements near the Potomac Festival shopping center and Telegraph Road in Woodbridge.

The work is expected to take approximately 6 weeks to complete. Because this rehabilitation work is “trenchless,” there will be virtually no impact on traffic. (more…)

Traffic
‘Route 3 westbound at Exit 130B in Fredericksburg will be closed for several hours’

Headed to Fredericksburg overnight Thursday? 

From a press release: 

The Interstate 95 southbound exit ramp to Route 3 westbound at Exit 130B in Fredericksburg will be closed for several hours early Thursday morning to allow crews to remove overhead signs.

The ramp will be closed from midnight to 3 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 5.

I-95 southbound traffic seeking to access Route 3 westbound will be detoured to Exit 130A to Route 3 eastbound, then directed to make a U-turn at Gateway Boulevard to Route 3 westbound. The ramp will reopen at 3 a.m. Thursday.

A single lane will remain closed on the exit ramp through 4:30 a.m. Thursday.

Message boards and additional signs will notify motorists of the detour and guide them along the alternate route.

Overhead signs are being removed as part of the ongoing I-95 Safety Improvements Project at Route 3. Additional lane closures are scheduled this week at the following dates and times:

Additional Lane Closures:

 

  • Route 3 Westbound: Wednesday – Friday, 10 p.m. ?? 9 a.m.

   10 p.m. – one lane closed

   Midnight –7 a.m. – two lanes closed

   7 a.m. – 9 a.m. – one lane closed Thursday and Friday morning

Construction is underway to improve safety at the Exit 130 (Route 3) interchange in Fredericksburg.                                                          

This project will enhance safety by reducing vehicle merging and weaving that can lead to crashes, injuries and congestion on Route 3 and I-95.  These improvements are designed to lower the crash risk by eliminating conflict points where vehicles currently merge.

Traffic
Progress on Route 610 widening: New eastbound lanes open

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garrisonvilleroadwiden1 - Edited

We spoke with Stafford County Transportation Project Manager Alex Owsiak this week, and he told us the new eastbound lanes of Route 610 in North Stafford opened to traffic.

The new lanes carry drivers past Eustace Road and are part of a $13 million project to widen the portion of Route 610 between Eustace and Onville roads.

When complete, Route 610 will be six lanes — three westbound and three eastbound lanes — between Eustace and Onville, widening it from four lanes.

There’s also The Garrison, a new commercial development that will feature a new Regal Cinemas, and it’s located in the area where the road widening is underway.

The widening project should be complete by October 2018. Most of the lane closures for the project take place between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. during off-peak travel times.

As part of the project, crews had to relocate utility lines and install new stormwater drainage.

Photo: Mary Davidson

Traffic
‘Alternative 2B is incompatible with the historic character of the Bull Run Regional Park and would significantly degrade the integrity of the hallowed ground’

As transportation officials search for a solution for Route 28 congestion, The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority’s proposal, dubbed “Alternative 2B,” the most popular idea for relieving local congestion, has generated strong opposition from local preservation and conservation agencies concerned about historical and environmental impacts.

If approved, Alternative 2B would extend Godwin Drive from Sudley Road near the Manassas Mall, between the Lomond neighborhood in Prince William County and residential neighborhoods in Manassas Park, across a new bridge over the Bull Run River connecting to Route 28 in Fairfax County.

Historical Impacts

In a letter dated September 11, 2017, James Lighthizer, President, Civil War Trust letter, stated Alternative 2B “would have a significant negative impact on Bull Run Regional Park, which includes significant acreage associated with the Battle of Blackburn’s Ford…one of the first notable engagements of the Civil War, with 151 estimated casualties.”

According to Lighthizer, the acreage through which the northern part of Alternative 2B would cut, particularly the land contained in Bull Run Regional Park, is located well within the potential National Register Boundary and the “core” battlefield boundary as determined by the federal Civil War Sites Advisory Commission (CWSAC) and its Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields.

“The Trust strongly believes that Alternative 2B is incompatible with the historic character of the Bull Run Regional Park and would significantly degrade the integrity of the hallowed ground of the Blackburn’s Ford Battlefield, the quality of the visitor experience, as well as the area’s scenic and historic viewshed,” said Lighthizer.

“Moreover, by crossing Bull Run Regional Park, Alternative 2B threatens potential prehistoric and historic archeological resources that may be present in the path of this proposed alternative.” (more…)

Traffic
The plan: Extend E-ZPass lanes to south Stafford beginning in 2019

STAFFORD — An extension of the Interstate 95 E-ZPass Express Lanes could begin as early as 2019. 

The lanes would carry drivers from its current terminus in the area of Garrisonville Road south to the area of Warrenton Road (Route 17) in Stafford County. 

The lanes would not cross the Rappahannock River. 

Your comments on the project (welcomed in the comments below) and at VDOT, emailed to project manager Krishna Potturiby by October 10, 2017.

Here’s a brochure distributed Monday night by the Virginia Department of Transportation during a meeting at Stafford High School:

Download the PDF file .

 

Traffic
The shared-use path on Prince William Parkway will be repaved

The Virginia Department of Transportation will begin repaving the shared use path on Prince William Parkway. 

The path sits on the westbound side of the roadway and is popular with walkers, joggers, and bicyclists. 

The repaving effort will take place on both Prince William and Fairfax County parkways.

From a press release: 

Paving of portions of the Fairfax County Parkway Trail and the Prince William Parkway trail will begin Wednesday morning, Sept. 27, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The Prince William Parkway trail work will start Wednesday morning at Hoadly Road, making its way north in sections to Liberia Avenue. The paving is scheduled for completion later this fall.

The Fairfax County Parkway Trail paving will begin later this fall and is scheduled for completion in summer 2018. The section of the trail between I-66 and Route 7 will be worked on first, followed by the section from I-66 to Whitlers Creek Drive (about a quarter-mile north of Rolling Road).

The work totaling nearly 30 miles between the two parkways will take place weekdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Trail users should expect delays and are advised to use alternate routes; VDOT will provide regular updates regarding work zone locations to local biking organizations, as well as via the project page and VDOT Northern Virginia’s Twitter account. Reflective barriers will be installed at each work zone.

In 2016, extensive patching and crack sealing occurred on both trails in anticipation of this paving. Maintenance also occurred in 2014 along the Fairfax County Parkway Trail between Route 29 and Route 7.

Traffic
‘Speed, alcohol, and drugs do not appear to be contributing factors in this crash’

Signal light planned for dangerous intersection

A serious crash on Route 28 in Manassas on Friday night left three people in a hospital. 

MANASSAS — The crash occurred at the intersection of Route 28 and Pennsylvania Avenue, a junction that city officials say they are working on fixing. 

From Prince William police: 

We responded on September 21 at 8:52PM for a two vehicle crash at Nokesville Rd and Pennsylvania Ave. Investigation revealed that the driver of a 2003 Hyundai Sonata was attempting to make a left turn onto Pennsylvania Ave from southbound Nokesville Rd when the vehicle collided with a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban traveling northbound on Nokesville Rd. The driver and two other passengers from the Sonata had to be extricated from the vehicle.

The driver and a passenger of the Sonata were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. A second passenger of the Sonata was flown to an area hospital with serious, non-life threatening injuries. No injuries were reported to the driver (and only occupant) of the Suburban, an adult male. The three occupants of the Sonata were male juvenile teenagers. Speed, alcohol, and drugs do not appear to be contributing factors in this crash. Charges are pending for the driver of the Sonata.

From Manassas public works director Steve Burke: 

The City is currently working to design improvement to Nokesville Road that extend from Pennsylvania Avenue to just east of Godwin Drive.

The intent of the planned improvement is to improve safety and travel through the Route 234 (Prince William Parkway) interchanges.

Coordinating with future improvement by Prince William County, the ultimate typical section through the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue will have three through lanes with dedicated left turn lanes for east and westbound traffic.  A traffic signal is also planned for the intersection.

The project recently entered the Right-of-Way Acquisition phase.  Our current schedule has construction bids being advertised in April 2018.

Traffic
‘Access to all businesses, hotels and destinations in Central Park will be maintained during the road work’

From a press release: 

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) project to improve safety and operations at the Exit 130 interchange on Interstate 95 in Fredericksburg continues with overnight lane closures for water line and storm sewer work. 

The Central Park main exit at Carl D. Silver Parkway to Route 3 will be closed overnight on Sunday, Sept. 24 through early Monday, Sept. 25.

Drivers will be guided by detour signs to use Trade Street and Central Park Boulevard to exit Central Park during the work zone. Access to all businesses, hotels and destinations in Central Park will be maintained during the road work.

Weather permitting, the following lane closures are planned near the Exit 130 interchange beginning Sunday, Sept. 24:

Carl D. Silver Parkway (Central Park Exit)

Sunday, 10 p.m.  7 a.m. All southbound lanes on Carl D. Silver Parkway at Route 3 (Plank Road) will be blocked to allow crews to relocate water and sewer lines. Traffic will not be permitted to exit at the main entrance to the Central Park shopping area. Signs will guide traffic along the detour route to Trade Street and Central Park Boulevard. 

I-95 Southbound at Exit 130

Monday  Friday, 9 p.m.  6 a.m.

The Exit 130 off-ramp will be reduced to a single lane from I-95 southbound to Route 3 westbound at Carl D. Silver Parkway for storm sewer installation. All lanes will re-open at 6 a.m. Friday.

Flickr photo: m01229

Traffic
Residents plea for a new signal light on Route 1

STAFFORD — Both residents and leaders want a new traffic signal erected on Route 1 near an iconic crucifix.

Stafford County resident Amy Wieman said the cross is there for a reason.

“…if you pull out that road especially at rush hour you’re not at all like you literally have to pray. That’s why the crucifix there,” she said.

OK, not really. The crucifix is a historical marker to note the nearby location of the first Catholic settlement in Virginia.

But the intersection of Route 1 and Telegraph Road has long plagued Stafford drivers, especially during the afternoon rush hours when parents go and pick up their children at the nearby Widewater Elementary and Sheirly Heim Middle schools.

“Every single time I leave school I say a little prayer and I hope I don’t get into an accident. It’s gotten to the point where I won’t even let my father-in-law pick up the kids from school because it is so dangerous,” one resident told the Stafford County Board of Supervisors.

Hers is a story shared with other residents, like this one from Stafford resident Amy Bancroft, of Aquia Harbour: (more…)

Traffic
Updated: Arrest made in safety services patrolman hit-and-run

Police are searching for the driver of a green Mustang who fled the scene after striking the safety patrolman while he was rendering aid to another disabled driver. 

From police: 

At 6:20 a.m.Friday (Sept. 22), Virginia State Police responded to a report of a hit-and-run of a VDOT Safety Services Patroller in the northbound lanes of I-95 near Exit 166B.

The Safety Services Patrol (SSP) unit had responded to that location to aid a disabled motorist. The SSP unit parked his vehicle on the right shoulder with its sign board and amber emergency lights activated. The SSP unit was in the process of setting out traffic cones for the safety of the disabled motorist when a green Mustang traveling north on I-95 struck the SSP employee. The Mustang then fled the scene.

Thanks to eyewitness accounts and assistance from local law enforcement, state police have detained an individual for questioning in this incident.

The SSP unit, an adult male, was transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital and is being treated for serious injuries.

The incident remains under investigation at this time.

Updated

From a press release: 

Thanks to eyewitness accounts and assistance from local law enforcement, state police located and charged Ginnun S. Frazier, 27, of Alexandria, Va., with one felony count of hit-and-run and for driving on a revoked license.  State police also located the green Ford Mustang driven by Frazier.

The SSP unit, an adult male, was transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. 

Traffic
Residents get a glimpse of a future commuter ferry service for Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE — About 40 people gathered at Harbor View conference center in Woodbridge at 7 p.m. Thursday for the capstone event of a daylong series of events to discuss the future of a passenger ferry that could, someday, provide commuter service between Prince William County and Washington, D.C.

“We need to use our region’s last unused highway, the Potomac River,” said Prince William Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi, whose long pushed for the creation of a “fast ferry” from Woodbridge to Washington.

Thursday’s Fast Ferry Summit was the second ferry summit Principi has held while in office. The first one was in 2009.

He kicked off the event noting that ferry service was once popular among area plantation owners between 1760 and 1790.

“George Washington built a wooden bridge to get across the river. It washed out. What did they do next? Ferry service,” said Principi.

He then introduced a panel of experts who discussed ferry service operations, challenges, and the likelihood of a new fast ferry in Woodbridge.

‘Like a Rubix cube… there are a lot of challenges on the Potomac’

Capt James Barnberger, with the U.S. Maritime Administration Department of Direct Risk Analysis, said that while there of hundreds of water taxi options in New York City, bringing a commuter ferry to Prince William County will have a unique set of challenges.

“Like a Rubix cube… there are a lot of challenges on the Potomac, but in time you can overcome them. This is not an easy thing to do, I know because I was part of a lot of successful operations in New York, and I was apart of an operation that didn’t make it here on the Potomac River.”

Some of the larger challenges outlined by Barnberger include environmental concerns, getting people to change their commuting habits and abandon their car for a ferry, and cost. (more…)

Traffic
I-95 express lanes extension public hearing to be held Sept. 25

From Virginia Department of Transportation:

The public is invited to attend a location and design public hearing for the I-95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension project next week to review the proposed design and submit comments.

The I-95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension project would extend I-95 Express Lanes approximately 10 miles from Route 610 (Garrisonville Road) to the vicinity of Route 17 (Warrenton Road) in Stafford County.

As part of this project, new access to the Express Lanes corridor is proposed in the vicinity of the Route 17 and Route 630 (Courthouse Road) interchanges along Interstate 95. New access is also proposed on I-95 at Exit 148, which connects with Russell Road near Quantico Marine Corps Base.

The extended Express Lanes would connect to the I-95 Southbound Rappahannock River Crossing project. The Rappahannock River Crossing is doubling the capacity of I-95 southbound to six lanes from just north of Route 17 to just south of Route 3 in Fredericksburg.
(more…)

Traffic
Speeding fines are going up on Featherbed, and possibly Featherstone

GAINESVILLE — Drivers on Featherbed Lane watch out: Fines for speeding will increase.

New signs are warning drivers an additional fine of up to $200 will be installed along the two-lane thoroughfare in western Prince William County. According to county documents, based on the number requests from residents for speed enforcement, as well as speed studies completed in the area, “Featherbed Lane has a documented speeding problem.”

Three new signs warning of the higher fines will be placed along the route, from Sudley Road to Route 29. The road will keep its 25 mph speed limit.

The fines collected could generate additional revenue for the county, according to county documents.

One of the state requirements for the signs to be installed, county officials noted they received a petition requesting the new signs be installed, signed by more than half of the residents who live in the area.

Signs notifying residents that county leaders were seeking comments from residents about the new increased speeding fines signs were posted along Featherbed Lane between July 17 and 31. No one commented, county documents state.

The new signs should be installed in about a month. County late this year leaders will also consider installing similar signs along Featherstone Road in Woodbridge, according to Steve Stevens, at the Prince William County Transportation Departement. (more…)

Traffic
Residents examine Route 28 Manassas bypass, unintended consequences

MANASSAS PARK — Extending Godwin Drive across the Bull Run River into Fairfax County is shaping up to be the most popular idea to relieve congestion on Route 28.

But some residents question whether four-and-a-half mile road, with and its nearly $200 million price tag, will do anything at for congestion relief on Route 28 in Manassas.

The roadway has become Northern Virginia’s most congested corridor.

Dubbed “Alternative 2B,” the proposed road would extend Godwin Drive from Sudley Road near the Manassas Mall, between the Lomond neighborhood in Prince William County and residential neighborhoods in Manassas Park, across a new bridge over the Bull Run River connecting to Route 28 in Fairfax County.

About 200 people gathered Thursday night at the Manassas Park Community Center to gain insight, and to give input to local officials. Several large project display boards lined the room showing where roads could go, and whose homes could be at risk.

Prince William County Coles District Supervisor and Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) Chairman Marty Nohe stressed no decision has been made on where to place any new road.

“I couldn’t stand here and look you in the eye and tell you there won’t be impacts from this project. There will be impacts, and some will be impacted more than others,” Nohe told the crowd. “We won’t see these big maps change. We will see a more detailed map.” (more…)

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