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Stafford News



Governor McAuliffe breaks ground on I-395 Express Lanes extension

Reliable and faster travel choices coming on I-395 Corridor 

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today joined the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and its private partner and operator of the I-95 Express Lanes, Transurban, to break ground on the start of construction of an eight-mile extension of the I-395 Express Lanes from Turkeycock Run near Edsall Road in Alexandria to the Washington, D.C. border. The project provides more options for faster and more reliable travel in one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the country and expands the region’s network of express lanes. The project includes a long-term investment in transit for the corridor, through a yearly payment of $15 million (to be escalated annually) that will be paid by Transurban to the Commonwealth. This annual transit payment will support transit and multimodal initiatives benefitting the corridor.

“Anyone who travels on I-395 and I-95 today can attest that this is one of the most congested corridors in the country,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Today’s groundbreaking is the first project of the Commonwealth’s larger Atlantic Gateway Initiative which aims to unlock the I-95 Corridor. The Atlantic Gateway Initiative and the I-395 project demonstrate how we can work with our public and private partners to improve the quality of life for Virginians and our visitors – and keep our new Virginia economy growing.”

Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne added, “Under Governor McAuliffe’s leadership, today’s milestone is one more step toward expanding the express lanes network in Northern Virginia, and providing travelers with much-needed travel choices to reach their destinations faster. The key benefit continues to be options, and we are ready to focus on delivering this new choice on 395.”

The I-395 Express Lanes project provides specific benefits for the thousands of commuters who work at or near the Pentagon, as well as the many carpoolers or commuter bus users transferring at the Pentagon to continue to their destination. By reconstructing the Pentagon’s South Parking area and adding new bus lanes and HOV commuter and “slug” lanes to improve traffic flow and safety for buses and carpools, the project’s benefits extend well beyond the express lanes.

Other key project features include adding a fourth regular lane on I-395 South between the Duke Street and Edsall Road Interchanges, to help relieve the congestion which occurs when I-395 shrinks from four to three lanes in this area. Additionally, the project includes rehabilitating several I-395 bridges, and building new sound walls to protect neighboring communities.

The project is anticipated to cost approximately $500 million, with a combination of private and public funds. The project is one element of the Commonwealth’s Atlantic Gateway Program, a series of major improvements to the I-95/I-395 corridor.

“We are pleased to partner with Virginia to deliver a critical missing link that will connect Express Lanes customers to new destinations along I-395 and Washington D.C.,” said Jennifer Aument, Group General Manager, North America, Transurban. “Crews will begin work right away on improvements that are going to help drivers on I-395 get home faster, while also generating funds to support new transit options. As construction begins, we encourage all travelers to stay alert to changing conditions, avoid distractions and keep an eye out for workers on the road.”

Plans to extend the Express Lanes began in November 2015 with a Framework Agreement under the 95 Express Lanes Comprehensive Agreement between VDOT and Transurban. In February 2017, after meeting specific project-delivery and financial criteria, the Commonwealth approved Transurban’s proposal to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the 395 Express Lanes extension.

AECOM Engineering Company and Lane Construction are under contract to Transurban to design and build the extended 395 Express Lanes. The express lanes are scheduled to open in fall 2019 and the other elements of the project are expected to be completed by summer 2020.

Construction of the expanded express lanes will occur largely within VDOT’s right-of-way; however, some work such as sound wall construction may require crews to access right-of-way and areas adjacent to the project corridor. Preliminary work such as geotechnical investigations and surveying began last March.

More information about the project is available at: 395expresslanes.com and virginiadot.org/395express

 

Mission BBQ donates $2 for each red cup purchased

Mission BBQ will bring back it’s red Amercian Hero’s cup this late summer.

When diners purchase a drink in the cup for $3.99, a total of $2 of the purchase will go to a charity chosen by local fire and police departments. Customers may keep the cup and bring them back for discounted refills.

Funds from cup purchases in Stafford County will go to Operation Warm: Coats for Kids, according to Stafford County Fire Chief Mark Lockhart.

The promotion runs Aug. 11 through Sept. 11.

Mission BBQ has locations in North Stafford at 267 Garrisvonville Road, and a soon-to-open location on Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge. A company spokeswoman was unable to provide us with information about the opening of the Woodbridge location.

Adopt Me Wednesday: Reggie is neutered and gets along great with other dogs

The Stafford County Animal Shelter as a furry friend waiting for his forever home. 

Here’s what they had to say: 

His name is Reggie. He’s about 2-3 years old! Very energetic and playful!

Gets along great with other dogs, but we aren’t sure about kitties. He is neutered and up to date on his vaccines. He was found as a stray so we aren’t sure if he is housebroken or not.

Reggie also does better with older children as he can get a little rough with little ones when he plays

You can visit the animal shelter’s website for more information, as well as see operating hours so you can visit Reggie and other animals in Stafford County.

Republican in Prince William, Stafford House race falsely touts Masters Degree, apologizes

STAFFORD — Laquan Austion replied to a Potomac Local candidate survey and listed a degree he doesn’t have.

The Republican seeking to replace Delegate Mark Dudenhefer in Virginia House District 2 in Prince William and Stafford counties told readers he obtained a Masters Degree from The George Washington University.

On Tuesday, his campaign manager Kurt Lofquist told Potomac Local via email that Austion doesn’t have the degree but is pursuing one. Austion obtained a Bachelors from Drew University in New Jersey.

The admission follows a Richmond Times-Dispatch story that first broke the news, and reported Austion is not currently enrolled in classes at GWU. (more…)

Local lender expands free Q&A series for business owners

Local business capital advisor and direct lender One Degree Capital is expanding their successful series “Capital Over Coffee.” These informal forums are hosted at local coffee shops throughout the DC Metro area providing local business owners an opportunity to ask questions about finding and securing business loans in an informal setting without the hassle and formality of going through a loan application process just to get feedback from a lender.

“Our first Capital Over Coffee event in Falls Church, Virginia, sold out quickly,” explains Rod Loges, co-founder, and president of One Degree Capital. “As word spread we had several other business owners asking when we would be hosting an event near them. It just seemed logical to expand into other areas in the DC Metro area.”

“There is a clear need for this type of forum in our area,” says Jenn Mathis, co-founder and vice president of One Degree Capital. “Business owners don’t need yet another loan option thrown at them. What they need is help objectively evaluating the dozens of options that exist today to determine what is best for their particular business situation right now.” (more…)

Police response to medical emergency leads to arrests

From Stafford County Sheriff’s Office:

 

joseph p campbell
william c cullen

Stafford Deputies responded to a report of an unknown medical emergency to the rear of 620 Cambridge Street on August 4, 2017, at 8:08 p.m. Upon arrival, they located two individuals unresponsive, one on the ground by the driver’s side door of a Ford pickup truck and the other laying behind the vehicle.

One of the deputies noticed a white powdery substance spread across the center console of the truck which he believed to be heroin. Narcan was then administered to one of the subjects and he was immediately transported by rescue to Mary Washington Hospital. The second subject also regained consciousness and was transported to Mary Washington for evaluation. (more…)

Early relief coming for E-ZPass lanes in Stafford

STAFFORD — The southern extension of the Interstate 95 E-ZPass Express Lanes will open by October.

Delegate Mark Dudenhefer says he’s spoken with officials at Transurban, the toll operators of the E-ZPass lanes who assured him of the fall opening, which would come earlier than expected opening time frame of early 2018.

Transurban spokesman Mike McGurk confirmed the plans to open a southbound ramp of the extension before the end of 2017 and the northbound ramp in summer 2018. “More information on specific timing will be shared with drivers as we grow closer to these milestones,” he stated in an email.

The single-lane extension of the Express Lanes south of Garrisonville Road will begin at the existing flyover ramp that, today, drivers must use to exit the E-ZPass lanes. When southbound traffic is allowed to use the lanes, such as weekday afternoons, the single lane will take drivers to exit ramp just north of Courthouse Road where drivers will be able to reenter I-95 south by using a left merge.

The southbound extension should alleviate some pressure during the afternoons as backups regularly occur when drivers are forced to use the flyover ramp to exit the E-ZPass lanes. (more…)

First phase of Sentara Northern Virginia Emergency Department renovation is complete

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is expanding upon its commitment to serve the community by redesigning and renovating its Emergency Department. Starting Friday evening, August 4, 2017, at seven o’clock, the main emergency department lobby reopened. 

The hospital is redesigning the Emergency Department in its efforts to meet the needs of the community by offering a state of the art space that caters to the patient experience and patient care work flows. 

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center announced in April it would accept emergency patients through the hospital’s main entrance to expedite the check-in process while the ED lobby was under renovation.  (more…)

Time is running out for summer reading, but it’s not too late

Time is running out, but it’s not too late!

Explore Summer Reading 2017

With school just around the corner, it is time to dust off those thinking caps and get ready to learn. But don’t do it alone, stop by your closest Prince William Public Library branch and score some fun prizes while getting back in the groove.

In less than six visits (YES, six visits), you will have the opportunity to win some amazing food coupons, free books and be entered to win a brand-new flip laptop (for kids) or a Beats Pill by Dre® (for young adults).  Either visit pwcgov.org/summerreading or head on over to any Prince William Public Library branch to sign up. Once you have your passport (for kids) or punch card (for young adults), just tell us what you’re reading each time you visit the library and watch the stamps and punches roll in.

Don’t worry, adults, because you can participate in Explore Summer Reading, too! You don’t even have to register. Whenever you come into the library, fill out an entry form with the name of a book you’ve read. We will hold a drawing for a Target gift card at each of our eleven branches each week for all nine weeks of summer reading. (more…)