WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia



Traffic & Transit

This island on Prince William Parkway is now missing. That’s a good thing for drivers.

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A multi-phase effort to widen Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge is complete. 

The Prince William County Department of Transportation this month finished work on removing an island in the eastbound lanes of Prince William Parkway and Minnieville Road in Woodbridge. With the island gone, drivers headed toward I-95 can make use of all three lanes of the eastbound parkway, which was widened between Minniville and Old Bridge roads last fall.

From Prince William County Transportation Director Rick Canizales:

The Prince William Department of Transportation is happy to have completed the final phase of the Prince William Parkway widening from Old Bridge Road to Minnieville Road.  This final phase allows for the all three lanes of the Parkway to continue through the Minnieville intersection, allowing for a free flow movement of all three lanes through the intersection and increasing capacity by 30%.  The project eliminated a bottleneck and a through-lane that turned into a right-turn lane at Minnieville.  The intersection on the new leg now consists of two left-turn lanes, three through-lanes and a right-turn lane.

This was the third and final phase of widening Prince William Parkway in eastern Prince William County.

Last fall, county leaders celebrated a $15 million project that saw the widening of the parkway between Minnieville and Old Bridge roads. In August 2011, transportation celebrated the completion of a $10.4 million project to widen the portion of the parkway between Hoadly and Old Bridge roads. 

Prince William Parkway is six lanes between Route is now six lanes between Interstate 95 and Hoadly Road.

Crash closes portion of Route 610

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — Two cars collided Tuesday night at the intersection of Route 610 and Shelton Shop Road.

The accident happened about 8 p.m. It’s unclear how the crash occurred, of if anyone was injured. 

Fire and rescue crews and Stafford sheriff’s deputies closed a portion of Route 610 west for a crash investigation and clean up.

We asked the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office for more information about this crash. We’ll post the details once we gey them.

Northern Virginia traffic signals re-timed for holiday shopping season

From VDOT: 

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, the Virginia Department of Transportation will re-time signals to help drivers enter and exit major shopping centers around northern Virginia more quickly.

Using traffic data gathered during last year’s holiday season, VDOT developed time- and location-specific signal-timing plans at 223 intersections.

Engineers will use traffic cameras and traffic sensors to monitor conditions and make adjustments in real-time, even on holidays, to help keep traffic moving in especially congested areas such as Tysons, Virginia Gateway and Fair Oaks Mall.

Holiday signal-timing will be in effect from Nov. 24, 2016 through Jan. 1, 2017 at the following shopping centers:   


  • Tysons and Galleria Shopping Centers
  • Reston Town Center
  • Fair Lakes Shopping Center
  • Fair Oaks Mall
  • Potomac Mills Mall
  • Manassas Mall
  • Springfield Town Center
  • Cascades Town Center
  • Potomac Run Center
  • Dulles Town Center
  • Leesburg Outlets
  • Dulles 28 Centre
  • Virginia Gateway Shopping Center

Also in time for Black Friday, VDOT’s six travel information displays at Tysons Corner Mall have been refreshed with a revised, easier-to-read layout and relocated to more convenient locations throughout the mall. The screens display real-time Metrorail and bus arrivals, as well as a rotating display of bus locations, travel times, traffic cameras, road conditions and incidents near Tysons.

Crash victim flown to hospital; Route 1 backed-up for 7 miles

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — One person was flown to a hospital after a crash on Route 1.

Police closed a portion of the major thoroughfare about 4:30 p.m. after a crash was reported at 13709 Jefferson Davis Highway, in front of a Midas automotive center.

One person that had been reported trapped inside of the cars involved was rescued and was flown to a hospital. We don’t yet know the extent of the victim’s injuries.

Southbound traffic on Route 1 is snarled for seven miles, from the crash point back to Lorton Road in Fairfax County.

This crash follows another wreck in Prince William County today where one person was flown to a hospital.

We’ll post more information as we get it.

Update 5:12 p.m. 

The victim suffered injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening, stated Prince William police spokesman Nathan Probus.

1 flown to hospital after crash at Prince William Parkway, Yates Ford Road

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — One person trapped inside an overturned truck was pulled from the wreckage.

At least two vehicles collided at the intersection of Prince William Parkway and Yates Ford Road about 3 p.m. One victim pulled from the truck will be flown by helicopter to a local hospital for injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening, said Prince William police spokesman Nathan Probus.

Emergency crews closed all lanes of the parkway at Yates Ford Road about 3:30 p.m. so a helicopter could land. A second victim was being treated on the scene for unknown injuries.

A second victim was being treated on the scene for unknown injuries.

We’ll update this post with more information when we have it.

Update 3:35 p.m.

Police tell us Prince William Parkway will remain closed after the helicopter clears the area as crews investigate the crash. 

We’re told traffic on Yates Ford is congested. 

Update 3:40 p.m. 

From the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission: 

Due to the closure of Prince William Parkway at Yates Ford Rd. because of an accident the westbound Cross County Connector scheduled to arrive at Manassas Mall at 3:48 will be extremely late.  The eastbound bus scheduled to depart Manassas Mall at 3:53 will depart on time.

VDOT to install small fix for big problem at Prince William Parkway and Old Bridge Road

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — The intersection of Prince William Parkway and Old Bridge Road is flawed.

“I am surprised that this intersection is still functioning as it is,” said Prince William County Transportation Director Rick Canizales.

This busy junction that carries 45,000 cars a day is where six lanes of Prince William Parkway — a major thoroughfare linking Interstates 95 and 66 — meet at Old Bridge Road, a four-lane thoroughfare that connects drivers to their homes and businesses in Lake Ridge, as well as I-95.

A third street, Touchstone Circle, is also accessed by this intersection. Overhead signal lights control the traffic movement.

For drivers headed west on Prince William Parkway, they must stop at a signal light and queue up in one of three left-turn lanes to continue west on the parkway.

“Tripple [turn lanes] are a last desperate attempt of a [traffic] designer, and that’s what we’ve got here,” added Canizales.

Prince William County was denied state funding when it filed plans to transform this intersection, and the intersections of Prince William Parkway at Smoketown and Minnieville Roads, into grade-separated interchanges.

The improvements would have separated the lanes, improved traffic flow, and removed the center signal lights. The projects, according to state officials, didn’t provide enough bang for the buck.

So, without state funding for roadway improvements, leaders must look to smaller, more inexpensive fixes to try to convince drivers not to use congested Old Bridge Road if they don’t have to.

A new sign that will direct drivers on Prince William Parkway headed east to I-95 will tell them to stay on the parkway, and not use Old Bridge Road. That sign will state “To I-95” will be installed soon.

Rather than erecting a more expensive cantilever sign, this new marker will be mounted into the ground on the right side of the road near the Rollingwood Village office complex.

“When you look at ground mounting and placement for overhead signs, the ground mounted sign is the fastest way to erect a new sign, which is what we’re trying to do here, ” said Virginia Department of Transportation Land Use Director Richard Burke.

The new sign comes at the urging of a think tank established by Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson, which examined solutions for traffic congestion on Old Bridge Road. The formation of a residents-based transportation solutions group was a campaign promise made when Anderson sought office in 2015.

Also discussed was doubling the number of lanes for a one-lane ramp that carries drivers on Prince William Parkway who want to continue east on the parkway toward I-95 and Potomac Mills mall.

“When Prince William Parkway was opened, it was designed to take traffic off Old Bridge Road, at least that’s what we were told,” said one resident at Monday night’s transportation think tank meeting. “You gotta make it difficult to go down Old Bridge, and this intersection makes it easy.”

The option of expanding the ramp requires funding for land acquisition. The second lane for a wider ramp would need to start near the entrance of the Rollingwood Village center. The new lane would take a portion of that property, and another property on the right side of the road that sits closer to the intersection, said Canizales.

Original plans showed Old Bridge Road being widened from four lanes to six by now, said Canizales. That hasn’t happened because of funding issues.

More commercial development around the intersection, to include a new retirement home, and new fast-food restaurants continue to exacerbate the congestion problem.

Woman struck, killed on Springwoods Drive in Lake Ridge

From police: 

Fatal Crash Investigation – On November 21 at 11:32PM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the area of Springwoods Dr and Glenridge Rd in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a crash involving a pedestrian. The investigation revealed that the driver of a 2005 GMC Envoy was traveling northbound on Springwoods Dr approaching Glenridge Rd when the vehicle collided with a pedestrian attempting to cross Springwoods Dr. The pedestrian was transported to an area hospital where she died as a result of her injuries a short time later. The other driver remained on scene and was not injured. Speed, alcohol use and drug use do not appear factors for the driver involved in the crash. The pedestrian will be transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. No charges are pending at this time. The investigation continues.


                The pedestrian was identified as Tabitha Lynn HACKLEY, 35, of Woodbridge

                The driver of the 2005 GMC Envoy was identified as a 22-year-old man of Woodbridge

Motorcyclist killed after colliding with Honda Accord on Route 234

From police: 

Fatal Crash Investigation – On November 19 at 2:57PM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to Dumfries Rd and Nottingham Dr in Manassas (20112) to investigate a two vehicle crash involving a motorcycle. The investigation revealed that the operator of a 2013 Kawasaki 1000 motorcycle was traveling southbound on Dumfries Rd in the above area at an excessive speed when the motorcycle collided with the driver of a 1997 Honda Accord who was turning onto Nottingham Dr from northbound Dumfries Rd. The operator of the Kawasaki 1000 was transported to an area hospital where he died as a result of his injuries. The other driver sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene. Alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors in this crash. The victim was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. No charges are pending at this time.


The operator of the 2013 Kawasaki 1000 motorcycle was identified as Walter Roy GAYLE, 39, of Woodbridge

The driver of the 1997 Honda Accord was identified as a 68-year-old man of Manassas

First roads in Prince William County tapped for scenic byway status

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. —  Eight roads in Prince William County could become scenic byways.

The county’s Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing at 2 p.m. Tuesday to discuss urging the state to issue a special scenic byway tag to the following roads:

— Waterfall Road, between the Fauquier County to just east of the intersection of Antioch Road in western Prince William County

— Antioch Road, from the intersection of Waterfall Road to just south of John Marshall Highway (Route 55)

— John Marshall Highway (Route 55), from Antioch Road to the Fauquier County line

— Aden Road, between Joplin and Nokesville roads

— Bristow Road, between Joplin and Nokesville roads

— Joplin Road, between Interstate 95 and Bristow Road

The Prince William Conservation Alliance has pushed for these designations to be given to these roads. The organization posted this on its website:

Virginia has more than 2,500 miles of Scenic Byways, including many miles in adjacent Fauquier County as well as Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. Prince William County currently has none.

Potomac Local emailed each Prince William County Supervisor asking them for a statement on this issue. So far, we’ve not heard from any elected official on this matter.

More information about state byways can be found on the Virginia Department of Transportation website.

Right turn lane added at Route 1 and 610

From VDOT: 

A second right turn lane opened this morning on Route 1 southbound in Stafford County at the intersection with Route 610 (Garrisonville Road).

This $800,000 project added a second right turn lane to reduce driver delays on Route 1 southbound approaching Garrisonville Road during the afternoon peak travel period.

This project was locally administered by Stafford County. The intersection of Route 1 and Garrisonville Road was identified as the highest volume intersection in Stafford County in September 2014.

Expect road work at Bells Hill

From VDOT: 

Motorists can anticipate brief delays on Route 631 (Bells Hill Road) in Stafford County over the next two weeks for trench widening and paving.

Bells Hill Road will be reduced to a single lane between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11 and Saturday, Nov. 12, and on Tuesday, Nov. 15 ? Thursday, Nov. 17.

On Friday and Saturday, Bells Hill Road will be slightly widened through trench widening to create a wider shoulder. Paving will be underway next Tuesday through Thursday.

VRE announces train changes for Election Day

From Virginia Railway Express: 

Tomorrow afternoon, the longest trains will operate on the earlier schedules to help accommodate the expected early getaway for election day.

Fredericksburg Line:

Fredericksburg #301 (Departs Union Station at 12:55p) – 7 cars
Fredericksburg #303 (Departs Union Station at 3:10p) – 7 cars
Fredericksburg #305 (Departs Union Station at 3:25p) – 8 cars
Fredericksburg #307 (Departs Union Station at 4:10p) – 6 cars
Fredericksburg #309 (Departs Union Station at 4:40p) – 6 cars
Fredericksburg #311 (Departs Union Station at 5:15p) – 6 cars
Fredericksburg #313 (Departs Union Station at 6:00p) – 4 cars
Fredericksburg #315 (Departs Union Station at 6:40p) – 5 cars

Manassas Line:

Manassas #325 (Departs Union Station at 1:15p) – 8 cars
Manassas #327 (Departs Union Station at 3:45p) – 7 cars
Manassas #329 (Departs Union Station at 4:25p) – 8 cars
Manassas #331 (Departs Union Station at 5:05p) – 8 cars
Manassas #333 (Departs Union Station at 5:30p) – 6 cars
Manassas #335 (Departs Union Station at 6:10p) – 6 cars
Manassas #337 (Departs Union Station at 6:50p) – 7 cars

Car flips on Occoquan Road

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Rescue crews were called to a report of an overturned car at the intersection of Occoquan Road and Davis Street. 

The car reportedly flipped at the Woodbridge intersection at 10:55 a.m. The crash involved two cars, both Ford automobiles, according to initial information. 

Callers to 911 told operators that at least one of the cars involved was traveling at a high rate of speed before the crash occurred.

Rescue crews closed one lane of eastbound Occoquan Road when they arrived.

More as we have it.


Emergency crews report the crash is in the intersection of Occoqaun and Horner roads. Multiple cars are involved in the crash, they said. 

Route 28 temporarily closed for larceny investigation today

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Prince William police this morning closed a portion of Route 28 while looking for someone they thought could be related to a larceny in the area. 

From police: 

At about 10:55 this morning, officers responded to a business located in the 8300 block of Centreville Rd in Manassas to investigate a disorderly person inside the business. The person was possibly related to a larceny related offense and was detained without incident. Officers are investigating which crime, if any, occurred. The reason why Route 28 (southbound) was temporally shut down was due to the size of the parking lot where the incident occurred. Officers had to park their vehicles on 28 while they conducted the investigation. 28 is now open for normal traffic.

Portion of Wellington Road closed for gas leak investigation

Fire and rescue crews are on the scene of a reported eight-inch gas leak at the intersection of Balls Ford and Wellington roads near Gainesville. 

Police closed the westbound portion of Wellington Road between Balls Ford Road and Gainsford Court so fire and rescue crews could investigate the gas leak. 

A Sheetz gas station is located at the intersection of Wellington and Balls Ford roads. The Jiffy Lube Live concert venue is also nearby.

More as we have it.


A contractor struck the gas line while working in the area, stated Prince William fire and rescue spokesman Matt Smolsky.

No evacuations were prompted by the leak, and no injuries have been reported. 

Washington Gas owns the line and is expected to make repairs. The work should be done by noon, according to Smolsky. 


A representative from Washington Gas tells us the affected line belongs to Columbia Gas.



Delays impact I-95 drivers, VRE Fredericksburg riders

A crash on Interstate 95 south at Lorton has slowed travel for commuters headed home tonight. The crash is just prior to Woodbridge.

Also, riders on a Virginia Railway Express train have been stopped near Quantico for a freight train that needs to be inspected, according to a Tweet from the commuter railroad.



Fredericksburg.today reports the cause of the VRE delays is a small fuel leak on a CSX freight train in Fredericksburg. 


VDOT needs someone to design-build I-95 collector lanes in Stafford, Fredericksburg

STAFFORD, Va. — A project to build collector-distributor lanes on Interstate 95 south in Stafford County, between Route 17 and Route 3 in Fredericksburg, is moving ahead. 

The Virginia Department of Transportation today issued this notice for a company to design the lanes (similar lanes drivers find at the I-95 interchange at Dale City.


The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has advertised a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from companies that may be interested in submitting bids for a design-build contract to build the Interstate 95 Southbound Collector-Distributor Lanes – Rappahannock River Crossing project in the Fredericksburg area.

The RFQ asks that interested companies, known as offerors, submit Statements of Qualifications. Those responses will be evaluated by VDOT and the information will be used to determine the most qu

alified offerors. Those offerors will be invited to submit project proposals in response to VDOT’s Request for Proposals, which will be issued in early 2017.

The project is located along I-95 between mile marker 134 in Stafford County and mile marker 130 in the City of Fredericksburg. The project would modify the Route 17 interchange and add collector-distributor lanes parallel to the I-95 southbound general purpose lanes between Exit 133/Route 17 in Stafford and Exit 130/Route 3 in Fredericksburg.

The RFQ advertisement is posted on the Design-Build Request for Qualifications page on VDOT’s website:http://www.virginiadot.org/business/request-for-qualifications.asp

No PRTC service cuts in coming year, funding dwindles 

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — As transit officials in Prince William County wrangle with how to keep buses rolling, riders won’t have to worry about service cuts in the coming year.

Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission Interim Director Eric Marx issued this statement to riders of OmniRide commuter, and OmniLink local buses:

“PRTC has started preparing its FY18 budget, and I’m pleased to share some encouraging news with you.

At a special meeting on October 24, the PRTC Board of Commissioners agreed that bus services should not be cut in FY18, which runs from July 2017-June 2018.

 A stable year with no service cuts will enable PRTC to complete its strategic planning effort and allow the Board, our customers and other interested parties in our community to form a vision of what public transportation should look like in the Prince William area in the future. It also provides us with additional time to seek a stable and sustainable alternate source of funding.

 Those of you who are familiar with PRTC know that we’ve cut service often over the past eight years due to declining revenues from the area’s motor fuels tax combined with other federal and local funding issues. While we still have a long budget process in front of us, the prospect of being able to continue providing bus services at current levels is noteworthy.”

Local bus service in Prince William County is funded now solely through the state’s 2.1% motor fuels tax, charged at the pump each time drivers fill up in Northern Virginia.

The Prince William County Government earlier this year moved to rely on the motors fuels tax exclusively to fund buses. At the same time, shifted its source of funding for Virginia Railway Express commuter rail trains from fuels tax funding to a pot of money given to the county by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission that supposed to be used for roadway improvements.

PRTC officials still face a shortfall in funding as the motors fuels tax continues to produce less funding year over year as gas prices fluctuate and new cars continue to earn better fuel economy ratings.

From PRTC: 

Why is an alternative funding source necessary? “Alternative sustainable funding sources are needed because (as you know) funding from the 2.1% motor fuels tax revenue has been insufficient to cover existing services due to the continued drop in fuel prices.”

What sources are being reviewed? “PRTC is in the midst of a strategic planning effort, which includes examining other possible sources.”

Where are we with the budget this year vs. last year? “The FY2018 proposed budget process is under way and will be presented to the Commission at its January 2017 meeting.”

Last year in the light of a budget shortfall, OmniRide riders faced the threat of potential cuts to commuter routes as the system explored the possibility of rerouting buses to have them serve only Metro stations. Thankfully for many, those service changes never happened.

So, what does PRTC need to do to secure a permanent, reliable source of funding? Potomac Local asked state legislators and local officials and received these responses. We’ve posted them in the order we received them: 

Dudenhefer Head Shot

Delegate Mark Dudenhefer (Stafford, Woodbridge)

“I’m not on [the PRTC Board of Commissioners], so my knowledge is superficial. I believe that the majority of their problems with funding shortfalls has come from the decline is gas prices which the gas tax is based on. Gas prices have stabilized a bit which has stopped the leak temporarily.
At the state level we hear most often about setting a tax floor. As you can imagine this is a touchy subject. Where do you set the floor? Many don’t think we should set a floor at all. “
surrovellSenator Scott Surrovell (Fairfax, Stafford, Woodbridge)
“I am pleased that PRTC is not cutting service, but the General Assembly needs to step up and correct the drafting error that resulted in Prince William County losing millions of dollars in transit revenues.  We tried to correct this legislatively last year, but it got caught up in politics.”  
Updated Nov. 5, 2016
AndersonDelegate Richard Anderson (Prince William County)
“The PRTC Board met on October 24th to adopt budget guidelines for FY18 and decided that we would maintain services in FY18 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018). That decision gives us the necessary time to identify alternate funding sources to fill the hole left by declining tax revenues that result from dramatically lower gas prices. For now, the way ahead is indefinite, but will take on greater clarity after we get beyond several key events that include the following:

– PRTC Board Strategic Planning Session, December 3rd, 8am-12pm, McCoart Government Center (open to the public)

– Governor’s Budget Presentation to the annual joint meeting of the House and Senate money committees, December 16th, 9:30-11am, General Assembly Building in Richmond (open to the public). This event puts the Governor’s proposals in the hands of the legislative branch and permits us to consider PRTC’s budget concerns.

– Convening the 2017 legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly on January 11th (adjourns February 28th). Sometime prior to the opening of session, we’ll have a detailed legislative plan in hand from Hefty Wiley & Gore (HWG), the firm recently hired by PRTC to advocate for a solution to the challenge presented by declining tax revenues. HWG is working on the plan now, and I don’t have visibility into the plan as I type these words.”

Crash closes portion of Aden Road

Police are working a crash on Aden Road where a utility pole was struck and fell.

The two-lane road is closed between Carriage Ford Road and Fleetwood Drive. We don’t yet have information on injuries or the types of vehicles involved.

Police did not say when they planned to reopen the road. 

More info as we get it.

Car runs off Purcell Road

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Police were called to investigate a crash at the intersection of Purcell Road and Cornwell Drive. 

The driver of the vehicle involved in the crash appeared to  have run off the road.

Drivers on Purcell Road encounter a sharp turn at Cornwell Drive, near the location of this crash.

Police were called to the scene at 7:36 a.m. Tuesday, stated Prince William police Sgt. Jonathan Perok.

We’ll bring you more information as we get it.

Jeep slams into CVS on Route 610 in Stafford

STAFFORD, Va. — The driver of a 2004 Jeep Cherokee slammed into the front of a CVS Pharmacy. 

The crash occurred at 12:32 p.m. Wednesday, Oct 26 when the driver entered the parking lot of the store at the intersection of Route 610 and Shelton Shop Road in Stafford.

The driver told a sheriff’s deputy that he tried to stop vehicle and park in in parking space in front of the CVS. But his foot slipped off the gas pedal, and the Jeep collided with the front of the store.

No serious injuries were reported. The driver had been drinking and was not distracted at the time of the crash, according to the police report obtained from the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office.

The crash caused an estimated $5,000 in damage. 

The driver, identified in the report as Peter Zaremba, failed to maintain control of his vehicle.


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