The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is opening a 2-mile extension of Interstate 95 Express Lanes in Stafford County today, adding new northbound and southbound ramps ahead of schedule. The $50 million project extends Express Lanes beyond the flyover ramp where they previously ended, just north of Route 610 (Garrisonville Road).
“We know we have more work to do on I-95, as recent congestion reports have reminded us, but this Express Lanes extension is the first step in a series of projects to unlock gridlock along I-95 through the Fredericksburg region,” said Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne.
Virginia is investing more than $800 million over the next five years on I-95 projects in the Fredericksburg region. Six I-95 projects are expected to open to traffic in the Fredericksburg area by the end of 2022 to deliver relief and improved driving conditions.
“Merging and weaving near the Garrisonville Road interchange has contributed to delays for drivers in the Express Lanes and the main lanes,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. “This extension will not resolve all of the congestion challenges on I-95, but it will reduce conflict points that are intensifying traffic slowdowns during the peak morning and afternoon commutes.”
Using the new extension, I-95 northbound traffic will be able to enter Express Lanes earlier at a new left entrance before the Garrisonville Road overpass.
Southbound Express Lanes traffic heading to Fredericksburg will be able to continue past Garrisonville and merge about one mile south of Garrisonville Road.
The extension will operate under the same rules and reversal schedule as the current 95 Express Lanes.
Transurban, the current operator of the 95 Express Lanes, contributed $25 million to help support the extension.
“We hope that this extension helps all travelers in this congested portion of I-95 and we ask customers to be alert and travel safely as they adjust to the new traffic pattern,” said Jennifer Aument, Group General Manager, Transurban North America. “We look forward to partnering with Virginia to continue to enhance the 95 corridor in Stafford County.”
The new southbound ramp will open to traffic this afternoon. The new northbound ramp will open early Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Construction on the extension began in July 2016. The project’s design-build team is Branch Civil, Inc., and Whitman, Requardt & Associates. Construction of a new noise barrier adjacent to I-95 southbound south of Garrisonville Road will continue after the extension and ramps open to traffic.
The project is a joint investment by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Transurban. Transurban operates the existing 29-mile Express Lanes facility that opened in December 2014, and will be responsible for maintenance and operations of the two-mile extension.
Around 146,000 vehicles a day travel I-95 near Garrisonville Road.
I-95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension
A separate project is under development to extend Express Lanes by an additional 10 miles.
The I-95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension project would build a reversible two-lane section of lanes as far south as the vicinity of the Route 17 interchange. New access to Express Lanes is proposed near the Route 17 and Route 630 (Courthouse Road) interchanges in Stafford, and at the Russell Road interchange at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
Partial project funding for the I-95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension was included in the Atlantic Gateway grant application. Virginia was awarded a $165 million FASTLANE grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2016 for Atlantic Gateway, a $1.4 billion package of highway, transit and rail projects in the I-95 corridor.