WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia



Traffic & Transit

Old Centreville Road down to one lane over Bull Run

From VDOT: 

Old Centreville Road has been reduced to one lane on the bridge over Bull Run to allow for rehabilitation work behind a concrete barrier, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Bridge traffic is now alternating each way via temporary signals. Drivers should expect delays and are advised to use alternate routes.

The traffic pattern will be in place for the duration of the project, which is scheduled for completion in fall 2017.

PRTC service for Presidents’ Day

From PRTC: 

In observance of Presidents’ Day, PRTC bus service will operate as follows on Monday, February 20:
METRO DIRECT – Regular service

No counter transactions will be processed at the PRTC Transit Center on Monday, February 20.
In preparation for the three-day weekend, PRTC will have a few extra PM OmniRide buses available for potential overflow on Friday, February 17.

Because PRTC experiences a significant increase in mid-day and early afternoon OmniRide passengers on the day before a three-day weekend, to avoid overcrowding you may want to consider taking Metrorail or other regional bus services and transferring to a Metro Direct bus to complete your commute.

For more information, call our Customer Service office at 703-730-6664 or send an email to Omni@OmniRide.com. Schedule information is available at www.PRTCtransit.org.

‘Pile driving will occur along Route 1’ in Woodbridge

Photo by Prince William County

From VDOT: 

image004Beginning Friday, Feb. 10, pile driving will occur along Route 1 for construction of the new bridge over Marumsco Creek just north of Marys Way for approximately two weeks, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The pile driving will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. All work is weather permitting.

Crews will be monitoring noise levels associated with the pile driving in order to minimize disruption to nearby businesses and residences.

The work is part of the Route 1 widening project, which will add a third lane in each direction between Marys Way and Annapolis Way. The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2019.

Woodbridge motorcyclist killed on I-95

According to Virginia State Police Sgt. Les Tyler, a Woodbridge man died yesterday on Interstate 95 when he lost control of his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and struck a guardrail in Stafford. 

Allen Lee Franklin, 26 of Woodbridge, was traveling Northbound Wednesday February 8, 2017 at approximately 2:28 a.m. when he ran off the road, struck a guard rail and was ejected from his motorcycle. Despite wearing a helmet Franklin was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police believe that excessive speed was the cause, and do not believe that alcohol was a factor in the accident.

School closings and delays for Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

Here’s today’s OPM status. 


The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

VRE wants to hike Amtrak step-up fares

From VRE: 

The VRE Operations Board considers fare increases every two years to offset expected increases in operating costs.   This year, we are proposing a three percent fare increase to help pay for increased costs associated with rising track access fees, labor and maintenance costs, and other contractual obligations.

 Any new fare increase would become effective July 2017 and must receive approval by the VRE Operations Board, the Northern Virginia and Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commissions, and individual jurisdiction members of VRE.  (more…)

Updated: Train collides with car in Nokesville


Photos by Tim at Nokesville Tire

NOKESVILLE, Va. — A train collided with a car on railroad tracks today in Nokesville at 10:56 a.m. 

One person was said to be inside the car and suffered serious injuries. Rescue crews said the victim would be flown to a local hospital.

It appears the train collided with the vehicle and pushed it east down the track toward Manassas. 

Train traffic was stopped along the rail line owned by Norfolk-Southern.  The crash should not impact Virginia Railway Express service. 

More as we have it. 

Update from Prince William police: 

An elderly female appeared to be suffering from a medical emergency when she strayed onto the tracks where they cross Fitzwater Dr in Nokesville around 11AM. A freight train traveling north struck the vehicle in the rear pushing it north a short distance along the tracks.

The driver was subsequently flown to an area hospital as a precaution. No serious injuries were reported. The train suffering little to no damage and continued on its journey a short time later. The vehicle was totaled. The train crossing at Fitzwater Dr was not impacted as the trained cleared the crossing before it was able to come to a stop.


McPike drops bill that would require HOT lanes to post estimated travel time with toll price; State says it’ll address later

Submitted by Virginia State Senator Jeremy McPike’s office: 

Senator McPike asked me to share a few pieces of information as it relates to his efforts to improve commuter fairness in Northern Virginia.

He introduced Senate Bill 1536, a bill to require operators of dynamic tolling facilities in Northern Virginia to included the estimated travel time, along with the price, for each posted destination. Consumers need all the information to make an informed choice about whether a high fare is worth it for them. Nothing is worse than paying the high toll and then getting trapped in gridlock in the facility.

After introducing and presenting the bill to the Senate Transportation Committee this week, Senator McPike struck the legislation with the guarantee from Secretary Layne that VDOT would work to address this issue in the coming year.  If it is not addressed, Senator McPike intends to introduce this legislation again next year.
From the letter: 
“…I have directed the Virginia Department of Transportation to evaluate and experiment with implementing portions of your proposal in a manner that would not create a compensation event with our private partners on I-95, I-495, and I-66.

VDOT will provide the public with information regarding travel times in the general purpose lanes compared to the travel times in the parallel express lanes to similar destinations. “

VDOT explains (in Tweets) why some roads got salt brine and others did not

Photo by Flickr user Virginia Department of Transportation

Surovell’s bill targeting ‘left lane bandits’ passes House

Photo by Flickr user Doug Kerr 

RICHMOND, Va. — House of Delegates has approved a bill that would impose a mandatory $250 fine for driving too slowly in the left lane on highways.

HB 2201 was introduced by Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol, and co-sponsored by Democrats Del. Kaye Kory of Falls Church and Sen. Scott Surovell of Fairfax to show bipartisan support for the measure. O’Quinn said this is something that affects all Virginians, regardless of which side of the aisle they align themselves with.

“It doesn’t matter which corner of the commonwealth you come from,” he said when addressing the bill on the House floor Monday. “It doesn’t matter which interstate or four-lane highway that you have going through the districts you represent. I guarantee you are going to encounter this many times, even if you’re on the highways for just a few minutes.”

“Left lane bandits,” as they are often known, have become a “particularly pervasive and ever-growing problem” on Virginia roadways, O’Quinn said.


VDOT’s take on the new Haymarket DDI at I-66

Photo by VDOT Northern Virginia

From VDOT spokeswoman Ellen Kamilakis:

I’ve loved working on this project because it has so many up sides. Safer, faster, cheaper! We knew we would have to fight the misconceptions of it being dangerous, and how people wouldn’t understand, but so far they have. Since it is not completely done (still need to open third lane, finish multi-use path, overhead signs, mast arm signals, concrete islands) it’s hard for people to conceptualize the finished product. I for one didn’t grasp that I was on temporary pavement, and when it was complete in the spring, the intersection lines would be longer and leaner that what is there now.

I have followed the news articles and read the comments (looking for misconceptions that I can address), and all we have left are people that claim, despite all of the studies, that this will somehow be a dangerous intersection. The only thing to refute that is time, so we watch and wait.

I found this to be an interesting exchange on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VaDOTNOVA/status/82552774911269274

A busy day for police at the new Haymarket DDI intersection

Photo: VDOT Northern Virginia


HAYMARKET, Va. — The first Diverging Diamond Interchange in Northern Virginia opened Saturday at Route 15 and Interstate 66 in Haymarket.

The interchange is unlike others in the state because it removes the need for drivers to make dangerous left turns across oncoming traffic. It also puts traffic on the opposite side of the street as drivers pass through the interchange. 

The new interchange is quickly becoming the standard in the state with another one planned at Interstate 95 and Courthouse Road in Stafford.

The new street configuration and traffic pattern changes today in Haymarket led to some confusion today, and police want drivers to be aware of the changes.

From Haymarket Chief of Police Kevin Lands: 

Here are some observations the Haymarket Police Department observed and handled during today’s rush hour traffic at the DDI. Any help getting the word out would be helpful. Thanks. 
VDOT detail- monitored A.M. rush traffic at the diversion diamond interchange. No crashes to report at this time. However other items of note were observed.
1) Incorrect use of the traffic pattern-
Three motorists claimed to be confused while entering or exiting the diamond on the Heathcote side. Two drivers stayed to the right while attempting to travel south on Rt.15 on a northbound portion. They were stopped prior to the I-66 eastbound ramps. Both drivers claimed to be confused and attempted to just stay right. The third driver was traveling north on Rt.15 and attempted to exit the diamond and ended up in the southbound lanes but was then able to correct.


School closings and delays for Monday, Jan. 30, 2017

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

School divisions in Prince William and Stafford counties already have modified schedules today. 

Prince William County Public Schools — Teacher Workday today, NO School.

Stafford County Public School — Early release day for all grades /end of semester.

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

Updated: Chatham Bridge completed

From VDOT: 

One lane is closed on the Chatham Bridge (Route 3 Business) between Fredericksburg and Stafford County due to a hole that has formed in the bridge deck. 

: The right eastbound travel lane is closed. All other lanes on the bridge are not affected, and remain open. 

The hole is approximately 2 feet by 2 feet across. Tonight, crews are covering the hole with a steel plate, which will be sealed with an asphalt mix used in cold temperatures.

Update from VDOT at 4:45 p.m. Jan 27, 2017:

CORRECTION: This traffic alert was intended to be sent on Wednesday, Jan. 25. All repairs to the Chatham Bridge were completed by the morning of Thursday, Jan. 26. No repairs are currently underway. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Haymarket DDI opens this weekend


From VDOT: 

Northern Virginia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at Interstate 66 and Route 15 will open to traffic Saturday, Jan. 28, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The new [$59 million] DDI alignment is scheduled to open at 9 a.m. Jan. 28. The interchange will be closed overnight for final lane striping the night before beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27. Detour information is available on the project page.

Traffic will shift onto the new bridge, with two out of the three lanes opening Saturday. Work will still continue on the multi-use path, overhead signs, and concrete islands until summer 2017, when the third lane will then open.

The DDI’s innovative design shifts vehicles to the opposite side of the road and eliminates left turns that cross oncoming traffic. Two-phase traffic signals at each end of the interchange reduce time spent at red lights and move twice the number of vehicles as a traditional diamond interchange. VDOT recently completed its first two DDIs in Louisa and Roanoke, and has two more in the works in Blacksburg and Stafford.

Tons of OmniRide bus stops will be missed Friday afternoon

From PRTC: 

The annual March for Life will take place on Friday, January 27 in Washington, D.C.

Road closures will impact many OmniRide trips in the early afternoon, and there is a chance that road closures may be extended and impact PM rush hour trips. All riders should anticipate delays due to congestion caused by the road closures.


Route 610 traffic shift set for Wednesday night in Stafford

From Virginia Department of Transportation:

All lanes will remain open, but drivers should stay alert for a new traffic pattern on
Route 610 (Garrisonville Road) near Onville Road

On Wednesday evening, Route 610 (Garrisonville Road) traffic in Stafford County will be shifted slightly onto new pavement just west of the Onville Road intersection. (more…)

OId Centerville Road bridge repairs begin today


Rehabilitation of the Old Centreville Road bridge over Bull Run will begin Tuesday, Jan. 24, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

During construction, traffic crossing the bridge will be controlled via temporary signals.

The bridge, built in 1968, is in poor structural condition overall, with cracks and other signs of deterioration in its piers and concrete abutments.

The $4 million project is scheduled for completion in fall 2017. The contractor is Martins Construction Corporation.
Follow VDOT Northern Virginia on Twitter: @vadotnova

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