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Traffic & Transit

Express lanes entrance will be closed overnight

From VDOT: 

“Interstate 95 northbound drivers are advised that the first entrance to I-95 Express Lanes in Stafford County will be closed for several hours overnight for installation of a sign structure.

The northbound entrance to I-95 Express Lanes near Exit 143/Garrisonville Road will be closed from midnight to 4 a.m. on Friday, May 26.

Northbound drivers can access I-95 Express Lanes at the next available entrance, near Exit 152/Dumfries. 

The sign structure is part of the ongoing I-95 Express Lanes Southern Terminus Extension project. The project is extending I-95 Express Lanes approximately 2.5 miles beyond the flyover ramp just north of Garrisonville Road. The new southbound exit ramp is scheduled to open by early 2018, and the northbound entrance ramp will open in summer 2018.”

Walking on the railroad tracks in Manassas is dangerous, deadly, and illegal. These police officers want you to keep out.

A stretch of railroad track between Manassas and Fairfax County had the second-highest number of reported trespassers in Virginia last year.

Today, police from Norfolk-Southern Railway and Manassas police officers were out in force walking along the tracks in Downtown Manassas. The mission: bring attention to a new stepped-up enforcement campaign aimed at keeping people off the tracks or walking alongside them.

“Trying to walk around the front of a train trying to save time… you just never know when that train is going to get permission to move, and when he starts moving, many don’t realize that the engineer can’t see you,” said Hugh McCormack, a special investigator with Norfolk-Southern police.

Last year in Virginia, 17 people were struck by a train, and 10 of those victims died. One of those victims was killed while walking along the tracks at Wellington Road and Godwin Drive in Manassas.

McCormack said many railroad trespassers illegally walk on the tracks to save time. (more…)

I-95 E-ZPass Express Lanes operators brace for holiday traffic

From an email: 

Good morning.  We wanted to pass along information regarding 95 Express Lanes Memorial Day weekend travel.  

Drivers are advised to prepare for increased demand on the 95 Express Lanes later this week as many in the region depart for vacation.  In addition, the northbound 95 Express Lanes and I-395 HOV lanes will close weekdays at 10 a.m. for the morning reversal beginning Thursday, May 25.  The early closure will enable southbound travelers to enter the 95 Express Lanes around 11:30 a.m., one hour earlier than the current schedule.  Overnight weekday reversals will continue to take place from about midnight to 2 a.m.  The schedule will remain in place throughout the summer.

To avoid higher-than-average tolls and peak traffic, drivers should depart before noon on Thursday or after 6 p.m. on Friday. 

Beginning the afternoon of Thursday, May 25, through the evening of Friday, May 26, drivers traveling along the 95 Express Lanes corridor should expect heavy traffic volumes and increased demand requiring higher-than-average toll prices to best manage the traffic on the Lanes. (more…)

Driving a truck through Manassas? City leaders say find another way around.

Manassas City leaders on Monday banned trucks from operating on some city thoroughfares.

The city council passed a “no thru truck” ordinance barring trucks longer than 36 feet and semitrailers from operating on these streets:

1. Hastings Drive
2. Cloverhill Road from Hastings Drive to Wellington Road
3. Center Street
4. Grant Avenue from Sudley Road to Wellington Road
5. Stonewall Road from Center Street to Liberia Avenue
6. Centreville Road from Sudley Road to Church Street
7. Liberia Avenue from Centreville Road to Stonewall Road

Now, trucks must only use these roads to pass through the city:

1. Nokesville Road
2. Godwin Drive from Nokesville Road to Sudley Road
3. Wellington Road
4. Liberia Avenue from Hastings Drive to Centreville Road
5. Sudley Road
6. Centreville Road from Sudley Road to City Limits
7. Dumfries Road from Wellington Road to City Limits

Truck drivers may use the roads if “…arriving to or departing from a truck terminal within the City limits, receiving loads within the City limits, or making deliveries within the city limits,” according to city documents.

The new truck routes will be marked by signs. The no-truck will also be noted by road signs.

Police, and fire and rescue vehicles are exempt from the truck ban. (more…)

Updated: Flames engulf car on I-95 south in Woodbridge



A reader sent these photos of a car fire to potomaclocal[at] about 9:30 a.m.

The car fire appears to have been on I-95 south near Route 123 in Woodbridge.

We’re checking with Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue for more information.

We’ll post more when we have it.

Update 1:30 p.m. 

A Mini Cooper caught fire this at 9:15 a.m. in the southbound lanes of I-95 in Woodbridge. 

Fire and rescue crews closed two lanes of the highway to douse the blaze. 

No one was injured, according to Prince William County Assistant Chief Matt Smolksy. 

Driver killed in Woodbridge crash

From Prince William police: 

Fatal Crash Investigation – On May 19 at 10:48AM, investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded to the area of Great Oaks Dr and Smoketown Rd in Woodbridge (22192) to investigate a single vehicle crash. An officer was patrolling in the above area when a citizen reported finding a vehicle located down an embankment at the dead end of Great Oaks Dr.

When officers went to investigate, they located a sedan overturned with the driver still located inside. The driver, identified as an adult, was pronounced dead at the scene. The initial investigation revealed that the driver, and only occupant, was traveling northbound on Great Oaks Dr when for unknown reasons ran off the roadway down an embankment located at the dead end. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. It is unknown at this time if speed, alcohol, or drugs are factors.

The identity of the deceased driver will also be released once a next of kin is notified. The investigation into the exact cause of the crash continues.

I-95 south work at Dale City continues through Monday morning, major delays expected

The work to repair a bridge that carries Interstate 95 traffic south over the Neabsco Creek in Dale City continues tonight and throughout the weekend. 

The work had been postponed for the past two weeks due to weather. The work is slated to wrap up Monday morning, but not before causing major delays for southbound travelers. 

Here’s the latest from VDOT:  (more…)

Don’t use your E-ZPass Flex in HOV mode? Give it back, or that’ll be $10 extra.

This weekend, my wife and me, and a third person — probably a friend or family member — must make a trip on the Interstate 95 E-ZPass Express Lanes.


It’s because we got an email from the folks at E-ZPass Virginia telling us it’s been a while since we’ve used our Flex transponder in HOV mode. And if we don’t use it, we lose it or must pay a $10 fee.

Here’s a portion of that email:

(Photo: VDOT)

“Since this transponder type is more expensive for us to procure, our Customer Agreement requires valid use in HOV mode at least once every six months or payment of a one-time Flex upgrade charge of $10 per Flex transponder. Alternatively, you can return your Flex transponder or exchange it for a standard transponder.”

The Flex transponder — the plastic box affixed to our car’s windshield that electronically pays the tolls to use the lanes, deducting it from our credit card account — allows us to toggle between HOV mode (free rides with three or more occupants in the car) or toll-paying mode.

The $10 charge we have the option of paying is a one-time fee, according to the email from the state. However, we’ve decided to take a part of our weekend to make the trip down I-95 — something we try to avoid on the weekends, if possible. (more…)

I-95 bridge work at Dale City postponed

Work to repair a bridge that carries traffic on Interstate 95 over the Neabsco Creek in Dale City is again postponed.

The work will now take place Friday, May 19 through Monday, May 22.

From the Virginia Department of Transportation:

Southbound I-95 will be reduced from three to two lanes over Neabsco Creek (mile marker 156) from 9 p.m. Saturday, April 29 to 6 a.m. Monday, May 1, and again from 10 p.m. Friday, May 19 to 6 a.m. Monday, May 22.

Ramps from eastbound and westbound Dale Boulevard to southbound I-95 will also be closed to all except emergency vehicles.

The southbound car-only safety rest area will also be closed.

The work was supposed to take place last weekend but was postponed to May 12 due to inclement weather. Now set to take place next week, VDOT says the work is still weather-dependent.

More from VDOT: (more…)

No exit from I-95 to Route 123 north on Wednesday night

From VDOT: 

The loop ramp from northbound I-95 to northbound Route 123 (Exit 160 B) will be closed the night of Wednesday, May 10 between midnight and 5 a.m. for paving, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Traffic will be detoured via two routes:

Northbound I-95, southbound Route 123 (Exit 160 A), u-turn at Annapolis Way back to northbound Route 123

Northbound I-95, Prince William Parkway (Route 294, Exit 158 A) and Route 1 back to Route 123

All work is weather permitting.

Four vehicle crash in Manassas kills one, injures six

From Prince William County police:

Fatal Crash Investigation – On May 3 at 8:37 a.m., investigators from the Crash Investigation Unit responded the intersection of Sudley Manor Drive and Sudley Road in Manassas to investigate a four vehicle crash.

The initial investigation revealed that the driver of a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze traveling westbound on Sudley Manor Drive collided in the middle of the intersection with a 2010 Dodge Journey traveling southbound on Sudley Road causing a chain reaction crash. The Chevrolet Cruze then struck a 2010 Chevrolet Silverado also traveling southbound on Sudley Road causing the Silverado to overturn. (more…)

‘Single lane closures will occur along northbound Route 29 between Lucas Court and Carver Road’

From VDOT: 

“Single lane closures will occur along northbound Route 29 between Lucas Court and Carver Road the nights of Sunday, May 7 through Wednesday, May 10 from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. each night for drainage pipe replacement, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

One lane will remain open to traffic during the work; however, drivers should expect delays and are advised to use alternate routes.

All work is weather permitting.”

Escape your Cinco de Mayo celebration tonight with SoberRide

From a press release: 

Preparing to combat that time of year when, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly a third
(31%) of all U.S. traffic deaths involve drunk drivers*, free Lyft rides will be offered to deter impaired driving throughout the Washington-metropolitan area on Cinco de Mayo (May 5th).

Give mom a gift of time to read, listen to music, or catch a few minutes of sleep, so she’ll arrive at work refreshed

Doing something special for your Mom on Mother’s Day is thoughtful, but what if you could make the gift last all year? You can give her something that helps make every day better – some free time and a stress-free commute!

When Mom commutes with OmniRide, she can use her travel time to listen to music, read, or catch a few minutes of sleep so she’ll arrive at work refreshed and ready to have a great day! And at just $6.50 per trip when paying with a SmarTrip card, the commute will save her some money too – all moms will like that!

OmniRide commuter bus routes start in Dale City, Gainesville, Lake Ridge, Manassas, the Route 1 corridor, and Woodbridge. Popular destinations include the Mark Center, Pentagon, Rosslyn/Ballston, Crystal City, Washington, D.C., Washington Navy Yard, and Tysons.

Or maybe Mom would rather take a Metro Direct bus for easy travel to a nearby Metrorail Station – and no parking fees! She can travel to the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station from eastern Prince William County, and to the Tysons Corner Metro Station from Manassas and Gainesville. The fare is just $3.25 with a SmarTrip card.

If mom prefers to stay closer to home, the OmniLink local bus service is a great alternative with routes serving Dale City, Dumfries, Manassas, Manassas Park, Quantico, the Route 1 corridor, and Woodbridge/Lake Ridge. And don’t forget about the Cross County Connector, which operates between eastern Prince William and the Manassas area. Local fares are just $1.50 per trip, so Mom won’t be worried that you spent too much on her!

Yes, brunch and flowers are nice. But this year, give Mom the gift she’ll use year-round! See routes and timetables at, or speak with a friendly PRTC Customer Service Agent at (703) 730-6664.

Kids can touch the bus at upcoming Potomac Nationals game

From PRTC: 

A OmniLink bus will be on hand this Sunday at a Potoamc Nationals game in Woodbridge — for the children. 

More from PRTC: 

“Kids and adults will enjoy touring an OmniRide commuter bus and an OmniLink local bus before and during the Potomac Nationals game. Check out the comfy seats! Get photos next to the giant wheels! See how the wheelchair lift or ramp works! We’ll see you on Sunday!”

PRTC spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo says: 

“We’re hosting a Touch-A-Bus event because it’s a way to introduce PRTC to kids and adults who might not be familiar with our services. Many children are fascinated by big vehicles, and this event allows them to see a bus up close and talk with a real bus operator. It’s also an opportunity for adults to reconsider their current method of commuting and get information about the benefits of public transportation.

We’ve participated in Touch-A-Bus events in the past, but there are no estimates for typical attendance.”

The “touch-a-bus” event runs from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 7, at Richard G. Pfitzner Stadium at 7 County Complex Court in Woodbridge.

I-95 bridge crews wrap up early on repair work

The first phase of work to repair an aging bridge that carries drivers on Interstate 95 over the Neabsco Creek near a rest area in Dale City wrapped up early this morning.

From VDOT spokeswoman Ellen Kamilakis: 

“Went very well, we finished early…” 

Crews closed one lane of I-95 south at the bridge at 9 p.m. Saturday to jackhammer and cut a hole into the bridge deck that needed to be replaced. The work on the 54-year-old bridge was announced earlier this month. (more…)

OmniRide buses will be delayed due to I-95 lane closures this weekend

Riding OmniRide buses to the Franconia-Springfield Metro station this weekend? 

A closure of two one southbound lanes of I-95 at the Neabsco Creek bridge near the Dale City rest area will cause delays for bus riders. 

From the Potomac and Rappahannock Transit Agency: 

All PRTC bus services that use I-95 and Route 1 may experience significant delays on Saturday, April 29 and Saturday, May 6 due to lane closures for bridge repair work on I-95 between Dale Boulevard and Cardinal Drive.

During the weekend repair work, the Express Lanes will remain pointed southward. This is expected to cause delays for Prince William Metro Direct buses serving Franconia-Springfield Metro Station. It also will prompt many drivers to use Route 1, causing increased congestion for Saturday OmniLink buses on routes serving Dumfries, Woodbridge/Lake Ridge, and the Route 1 corridor.

The Express Lanes are expected to be open for northbound traffic for the commute on Monday, May 1.

Fare hikes, western maintenance facility funding comes with new PRTC budget

Fare hikes are coming for bus riders in Prince William County.

OmniRide commuters paying with SmarTrip will pay $6.90, up from $6.50, and cash fares are up from $8.75 to $9.20. A single ride on local OmniLink bus would increase to $1.55, up from $1.50. Overall, it’s an average 5% fare increase for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

There will also be service cuts to some routes, removing underused services such as the route between Manassas Junction shopping center and Manassas Mall, and the elimination of a route between Lindendale Road and the Dale City commuter lot on the system’s Navy Yard route.

The eliminations and reroutings are expected to save PRTC $200,000. (more…)

Drivers urged to use alternate routes for two weekends of bridge repair

Drivers are urged to avoid southbound I-95 in Dale City for two weekends, April 29-May 1 and May 5-8, as lanes will be closed for bridge deck repair. Congestion and delays are expected to be extensive.

· Southbound I-95 will be reduced from three to two lanes over Neabsco Creek (mile marker 156) from 9 p.m. Saturday, April 29 to 6 a.m. Monday, May 1, and again from 10 p.m. Friday, May 5 to 6 a.m. Monday, May 8.

· Ramps from eastbound and westbound Dale Boulevard to southbound I-95 will also be closed to all except emergency vehicles. (more…)

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