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Traffic & Transit

Traffic
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…)

Traffic
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…)

Traffic
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…)

Traffic
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…)

Traffic
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…)

Traffic
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…)

Traffic
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…)

Traffic
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…)

Traffic
Boy Scouts event could impact traffic

Virginia officials say the regional traffic situation could get hairy next week as 50,000 people are expected to descend on the area.

The Boy Scouts of America will hold their annual National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Bowling Green on July 26 through Aug. 4.

Though the festival will be held about 50 miles outside the National Capital Region, those who know the roads say they will be monitoring traffic conditions to keep drivers moving. (more…)

Traffic
VRE express train hits delays

A Virginia Railway Express train pulls into the Woodbridge station. (File Photo: Mary Davidson)

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Virginia Railway Express’ new express train was delayed during it inaugural run Monday.

The train left the Fredericksburg station on time at 5:15 a.m., but then hit delays in Stafford County and into Woodbridge, said VRE Board Chair Paul Milde.

Advertised as a train that will be able to get riders to Washington 25 minutes sooner than any other VRE train, the express pulled into Union Station about an hour behind schedule, according to VRE officials. (more…)

Traffic
Army eyes surplus VRE equipment

A Virginia Railway Express train pulls into the Woodbridge station. (Photo: Mary Davidson)

The Army is interested in purchasing surplus rail equipment from Virginia Railway Express.

According to a Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation spokesman, the Army plans to transport soldiers from Ft. AP Hill in Bowling Green to Ft. Lee in Petersburg twice a week for 37 weeks each year, and they want to do it by rail.

Obtaining suplus equipment from  the commuter rail agency appears to be a viable option for the Army.

The Army’s request comes as VRE has seen explosive growth in ridership over the past two years and when the agency is looking to add two new trains on the its Fredericksburg line, according to comments from VRE chairman Paul Milde, made at commuter railroad’s June officials meeting. (more…)

Traffic
A wider 610 for $9.1 million

A crawler excavator dumps dirt onto what will become the widened portion of Va. 610 in North Stafford. (Mary Davidson)

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – North Stafford’s main road is getting wider.

Since April, crews have been working to widen Va. 610 at Joshua Road at a projected cost of $9.1 million.

The two-lane street will become a four lane road complete with turn lanes at all sides of the Joshua Road intersection.

Currently westbound drivers on Va. 610 hit a bottleneck just before Joshua Road, where the thoroughfare goes from four lanes to two. Crews say the wider road will be easier to navigate. (more…)

Traffic
Crashes cause southbound delays

A head-on crash has forced the closure of U.S. 1 in Triangle.

Just before 4:30 p.m., a Ford F-150 collided with a sports car just south of the Marine Corps Museum. Fire and rescue units were called, but it appears no one was seriously hurt.

Police closed the northbound portion of the road due to the crash and the southbound side of the road, already full of cars, experienced even longer delays. (more…)

Traffic
Beltway lanes to shift Friday

HOT lane work is ongoing at the Springfield Mixing Bowl. (VDOT)

HOT lane work is ongoing at the Springfield Mixing Bowl. (VDOT)

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. – A five-lane portion of the Capital Beltway will be reduced to four lanes tomorrow.

The Virginia Department of Transportation calls it a lane shift, and it will take place three-quarters of a mile before Va. 620 (Braddock Road). The new lane configuration will be in place until late December and comes as part of the Beltway High Occupancy Vehicle lanes project.

At 9:30 p.m. Friday, crews will work to re-stripe the pavement and place barriers around the construction zone, reducing traffic down to one lane in the area.

The new traffic pattern should be in place by 9 a.m. Saturday, a VDOT spokeswoman said.

Transportation officials tell motorists to expect major delays in the area during the construction hours.

Crews aimed to complete the lane shift on July 9, but inclement weather prevented them from doing so.

The HOT lanes will be two new lanes between Springfield and Dulles Toll Road, which will add capacity to the Beltway. Vehicles with three or more passengers will be able to use the lanes for free or single drivers can opt to pay a toll to use the lanes when they are completed in late 2013.

Traffic
Va. – N.C. high-speed rail compact formed

The White House’s vision of high-speed rail in the U.S. in 2009.

Virginia officials have partnered leaders in North Carolina to bring high-speed rail to both states.

The Virginia – North Carolina High Speed Rail compact, authorized by congress, will look at constructing a high-speed rail corridor between Washington and Charlotte, N.C. that could cost as much as $4.15 billion, according to a Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation spokesman.

Trains that would serve the corridor would stop in Richmond and Petersburg in Virginia and Raleigh, N.C.

Virginia Del. Richard L. Anderson, R–51 was appointed to serve on compact and attended the commission’s first meeting last week in North Carolina.

“I don’t view high-speed rail as being a cure-all for all the transportation needs in all regions in the state and in the country, but we’ve got to move faster to get more rail implemented to address the transportation challenges that face our region,” said Anderson.

Officials say the majority of the funds to build the rail line would come from the federal government due to the extensive cost of the project. (more…)

Traffic
VRE says goodbye to Amtrak

A Virginia Railway Express train pulls into the Woodbridge station. (Photo: Mary Davidson)

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – It seemed like a long time coming but a French company is now in charge of operating of Virginia’s commuter railroad.

Keolis Rail Services of America began operating Virginia Railway Express trains on the system’s Fredericksburg and Manassas lines today as part of a five year, $85 million contract. After months of wrangling between VRE, Federal Rail Administration officials and Amtrak managers – who did not want their employees persuaded to work for the French firm – Keolis hired more than 80 new conductors, assistant conductors and engineers in May to facilitate train operations.

Offers were made to Amtrak employees to stay, but only one Amtrak worker decided to join the French firm that has never operated in the U.S. before now.

One week ago today, while many enjoyed a day off because of the observed July 4 holiday, Keolis crews made their first full test runs on the VRE system. (more…)

Traffic
Study underway to increase I-95 speed limit

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – A 17-mile stretch of Interstate 95 in Stafford County could become one of the fastest highways in the state.

A new study is underway examining the possibility of raising the speed limit from 65 to 70 mph between U.S. 17 in Falmouth to Joplin Road, just north of the Stafford County line in Triangle.

The study is underway but there is no preliminary information about when it could be complete or how much it is going to cost, said Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tina Bundy.

A new law went into effect July 1 that allows transportation officials and elected leaders across the state to raise speed limits on interstate highways to 70 mph. A portion of I-295, from Petersburg to I-64, is currently the only highway in Virginia to have its speed-limit increased. (more…)

Traffic
House removed from Beltway

A mobile home involved in a crash on the Capital Beltway is hauled away.

UDPATE: The house trailer that fell onto the Capital Beltway on Thursday afternoon and snarled traffic has been removed.

Crews were seen hauling away the prefabricated home at 5:37 p.m., about 20 minutes earlier than state police initially estimated it would be cleared from the roadway.

The house was being transported by tractor trailer when at 12:19 p.m. a car changed lanes and cut the driver of the tractor trailer off, just north of Dulles Toll Road.

The driver of the tractor trailer then swerved into another lane to avoid hitting the encroaching vehicle, but in doing so collided with a Ford F-450 pickup, a state police spokeswoman said.

The trailer flipped and the house hit the pavement.

No one was injured, and so far no charges have been filed in the crash, but the damage to traffic flow in the area was done. (more…)

Traffic
HOV hours extended on I-95

Photo: Mary Davidson

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. – The sun sets later during the summer and now drivers can use Interstate 95’s High Occupancy Vehicle lanes a bit later too.

Until Sept. 23, the lanes will remain open to southbound travelers until midnight Monday through Thursday, allowing drivers to skirt traffic delays that may be caused by highway construction and increased traffic on the highway, said Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jennifer McCord.

The HOV lanes will then reopen to northbound traffic the following day at 2 a.m. (more…)

Traffic
Clean up complete following train derailment

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – A major thoroughfare has been reopened in Ferry Farm after a series of rail cars derailed Tuesday.

Clean-up crews have finished removing coal that spilled onto Va. 3, near Walmart, as a result of the crash. There was only one coal car left to right at 6:30 a.m., according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Crews were planning on grading the land where the train derailed, but the major portion of the mess has been cleaned up, VDOT stated.

Drivers are still urged to use caution in the area.

There were no injuries when the rail cars went off the track about 4:45 p.m., but officials last night warned drivers who use Va. 3 could expect delays in the area for the next 24 to 36 hours.

Clean-up crews immediately descended onto the area immediately following the freight train derailment.

The portion of the track where the derailment occurred is not served by Virginia Railway Express, the state’s commuter railroad.

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