Years of pain intend to be Virginia commuters' gain on I-95
Twelve months into a massive three-year project to establish, expand and improve high-occupancy toll lanes between Alexandria and Stafford County, Virginia transportation officials are standing by their predictions of smoother commutes in the near future — even though the current reality is construction-related gridlock and delay.
Work on the project began last Aug. 1 and is set to be complete at the end of next year. Lanes should be open for traffic in early 2015, but drivers should see improvements as early as this fall after delays associated with road and bridge construction.
Just this month, every southbound lane of Interstate 95 at Dumfries Road in Prince William County was closed during overnight hours to lift a steel beam into place for a new bridge. Future road closures and detours are planned through the fall.
“I think the most challenging part is building while maintaining traffic,” said Michelle Holland , spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation . “We can’t shut down 95 while we build this. We have to work in a certain time frame, the contractor has to have the right weather conditions, and the bridges are obviously complex.