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New slug line starts Oct. 19

Photo: Mary Davidson
Photo: Mary Davidson

Commuters use a busy Interstate 95 near Woodbridge on a weekday morning. (Mary Davidson)

Woodbridge, Va. –– Commuters can rejoice as a new slug line to Alexandria starts Oct. 19.

Slug-lines.com in their quarterly newsletter announced the new slug line, which for the first time will take commuters directly to Alexandria.

The new line is in addition to other slug lines that take Virginia commuters to Washington, Crystal City, The Pentagon and Rosslyn. (more…)

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U.S. 1 re-pavement project to finish in early Nov.

Fairfax County, Va. –– A large stretch of U.S. 1 near Ft. Belvoir now being repaved should be finished by early next month, officials said.

The 8-mile, $3.3 million project will see the re-pavement of the road surface between Mount Eagle Drive and Backlick Road in south Fairfax County comes as more than 20,000 jobs are expected to relocate to Ft. Belvoir by September 2011.

Work to repave the road began in early August, and it’s expected to be finished by the first week of August, said Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jennifer McCord. (more…)

Traffic
6 injured in 95 crash, truck driver charged

Virginia State Police trooper E.D. Brown Jr., 30, was injured in a crash Monday that sent him and five others to the hospital. (VSP)

Woodbridge, Va. –– A bizarre string of events led to a crash that sent six people – including a Virginia State Police trooper –  to the hospital, and left one tractor-trailer driver facing charges.

The crash happened about 1 p.m. at mile post 159 on Interstate 95, just north of Prince William Parkway, and forced the closure of the highway for more than an hour Monday afternoon.

At all started when a white Mercedes driven by Thanh Tam Thi Phan, 39, of Woodbridge, broke down in the right shoulder of the highway, said VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

A Toyota 4-Runner, driven by Thi Hung Nguyen, 41, then pulled over to help the broken-down motorist. (more…)

Traffic
One lane on I-95 reopened

A helicopter lands on I-95 in Dale City after a three-car crash forced the closure of the highway. (VDOT)

Update 3 p.m. – Highway opening back up

One lane of traffic has been reopened following a crash that injured a Virginia State Police trooper.

That lane, at exit 160 just north of Woodbridge, was reopened at 3 p.m., according to the Prince William police department.

The crash happened about 1:30 p.m., involved three cars, and forced rescue crews to take two people – including the state trooper – to the hospital with injuries that didn’t appear to be life threatening, according to officials.

The crash happened near mile post 158, at Prince William Parkway, and spurred delays of six miles or more, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. (more…)

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VRE addresses Fredericksburg line delays

More delays this morning prompted Virginia Railway Express officials to once again open the Metro option for its riders, which allows VRE passengers to board Metro for free with a valid VRE ticket.

This afternoon, the commuter railroad has issued an explanation of what prompted the move.

Monday’s delays also forced the agency to hand out free rides to those who were inconvenienced. (more…)

Traffic
I-95 widening continues this week

Interstate 95 south at Woodbridge. (VDOT)

There are some ongoing construction projects going on in the region, and with this helpful list of road closures and anticipated delays, maybe you can avoid sitting in traffic this week.

I-95 Widening

Nighttime work – Closures occur between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless otherwise noted.

I-95 south from Exit 166, Fairfax County Pkwy (Va.7100) to Exit 160, Gordon Blvd. (Va. 123) – Two lanes closed Monday – Thursday nights 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for  milling, paving and striping.

Weekday work – Closures occur between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

I-95 north between the Exit 160, Gordon Blvd. (Va. 123) and one mile south of Exit 166, Fairfax County Pkwy (Va. 7100) – Right lane closed Monday – Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for bridge work. (more…)

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Metro option opened for riders at noon

Update – Metro option open for evening commute

Starting at noon, Virginia Railway Express riders will be able to show a valid VRE ticket to Metro station managers, who will then let them ride Metro to get home.

The Metro option was opened this afternoon after all service on VRE’s Manassas line was canceled Friday due to low-hanging power lines over the rails, and trains on the system’s Fredericksburg line this morning were delayed because of flood restrictions imposed by CSX, the railroad which owns the tracks. (more…)

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Heavy rains could slow trains

Woodbridge, Va. –– A flash flood warning has prompted Virginia Railway Express to warn passengers of possible service disruptions.

A large area of rain that is associated with Tropical Storm Nicole, which is moving its way up along the East Coast over the next 36 hours, will bring a deluge of rain, forecasters said.

A flash flood watch was put into effect for the Potomac communities by the National Weather Service earlier today. But if that watch is increased to a flood warning, train speeds on VRE’s trainlines will slow. (more…)

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Despite design grant, funds to widen U.S. 1 missing

The Iwo Jima statue greets visitors to Quantico Marine Corps Base in Triangle. (Mary Davidson)

Stafford County, Va. –– Everyone seems to know U.S. 1 at Quantico needs to be widened, but no one seems to know who is going to pay for it.

Earlier this year both Stafford and Prince William counties applied for $2 million in federal money for the study and design phase of widening the highway from four to six lanes, between Quanitco’s main in Triangle gate to the Quantico Corporate Center in Stafford’s Boswell’s Corner.

Stafford officials say they’ve received their portion of the money  – just over $1 million –  and say the study is a huge step forward.

But no organization has stepped up to cover the estimated $25 million that will be needed to actually widen the road. (more…)

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Traffic hot spots to avoid

Get ready for some road work in our area. Here is a list pf projects and places, provided to us from the Virginia Department of Transportation, you may want to avoid if you can.

Interstate 95 Widening

Nighttime work – Closures occur between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless otherwise noted.

I-95 south from Accotink Creek to Exit 160, Gordon Blvd. (Va.123) – Two lanes closed Sunday – Thursday nights 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for  milling, paving and striping.

Weekday work – Closures occur between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. (more…)

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State urges use of Woodbridge – Tysons bus

The Woodbridge – Tysons Express Bus. (Urban Trekker)

Woodbridge, Va. –– As work on the High Occupancy Toll lanes continues on the Capital Beltway, state transportation officials want more drivers use the Tysons Corner Express bus to get around traffic delays.

The bus runs between the Woodbridge Virginia Railway Express Station and Tysons Corner, and is one of two state-funded buses that provide free wireless internet to riders. It uses the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstate 95, but then uses the regular travel lanes on the Beltway to make it the rest of the trek.

“As part of our plan to keep traffic moving during this intense construction phase, we strive to move more people with fewer cars,” said Virginia Mega Projects Program Director John Lynch. “By providing vanpool incentives, express bus services and other ways to get around, commuters have more control over how they want to spend their time instead of getting stuck behind the wheel of a car.”

The push to get more people to use the bus comes while ridership numbers are going up. (more…)

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Try transit, win Amtrak tickets

If you pledge to try transit this week you could win tickets to ride Amtrak.

Potomac Rappahannock Transportation Commission’s OmniRide and OmniLink buses will be participating this week as part of Virginia’s third annual Try Transit Week.

Between now and Sept. 24, if you pledge to use transit your name will be put into a drawing for a pair of tickets for use on Amtrak Virginia, which provides service from the state to the Northeast U.S, according to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. (more…)

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New bus route proposed

Fairfax Connector

Fairfax Connector may soon have a new route between Huntington and the Engleside neighborhood.

Tranist officials will hold a public meeting at noon Saturday at the South County Center, at 8350 Richmond Highway, to discuss a newly proposed bus route, route 159.

The new route would bring changes to Fairfax Connector’s existing routes 151 and 152, according to a statement from the transit agency. (more…)

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VRE to run normal service

Quantico, Va. – Now that one train track at Quantico has been reopened to Amtrak trains, commuter railroad officials say things should be back to normal for their trains on Monday.

Virginia Railway Express officials say there may be some delays on Monday as trains could be forced to move slower through the Marine Corps Base, but they are not anticipating a full-service shut down on the Fredericksburg line like they had Friday.

VRE canceled all trains on the line following the derailment of seven cars on a 79-car coal train Thursday. (more…)

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Crews finishing rail repairs

A CSX crew member walks along the track where a 79-car coal train derailed Thursday at Quantico. (Quantico Public Affairs)

Quantico, Va. – Train service between Washington and Richmond should be restored this afternoon.

Officials with CSX, the owners of the rail line, say repairs should be completed this afternoon and train traffic on the rails will be able to return to normal. (more…)

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Derailment impacts east coast travel

A freight train transporting coal derailed on CSX tracks within Quantico Marine Corps Base, Va. late Thursday afternoon, August 5, 2010. (Cpl. Sean P. Cummings/Quantico Public Affairs Office)

11:30 a.m. Update

Quantico, Va. – The coal train that derailed Thursday at Quantico has spurred cancellations and delays for most of the east coast.

Thousands of Amtrak passengers were left stranded overnight as crews worked to clean up the seven coal cars that toppled over about 3 p.m. Thursday. (more…)

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Police chief: Slugs are alright

A local congressman says Washington’s police chief assures him authorities in that city won’t ticket drivers who drop off and pick up slugs on 14th Street.

Rep. Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly, D-11th sent a letter to Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier earlier this month after reports surfaced  that police officers were ticketing drivers who were picking up slugs in order to use Interstate 395 and 95’s High Occupancy Vehicle lanes.  (more…)

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Avoid these traffic hot spots

There are some major road construction projects that could leave you sitting in traffic this week if you don’t avoid these areas, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

It’s a good thing you checked here first before you got behind the wheel. (more…)

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Woman injured, driver charged in crash

NORTH STAFFORD, Va.–A woman was injured and a driver charged in a crash on Interstate 95 on Thursday afternoon.

About 2:30 p.m., a 16-year-old female from Stafford that was driving a 2005 Ford Expedition was entering I-95 north from Va. 610 in North Stafford, but then stopped at the end to the acceleration lane because there were too many cars for her to merge onto the highway, said Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Les Tyler.

Then a 38-year-old woman from Stafford, driving a 2006 Ford van, pulled up behind the Expedition and stopped. She too was also trying to merge onto the highway. (more…)

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VRE riders delayed at Quantico

QUANTICO, Va.–It’s been a tough commute this morning for riders on Virginia Railway Express.

Train #310 left Fredericksburg on schedule at 7:10 a.m. but stalled south of Quantico just before 8 a.m. because of mechanical problems, VRE officials said.

That left passengers stuck on board the train and many more waiting to board at the Quantico stations, and at stations in Prince William and Fairfax counties. (more…)

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