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Nov. 14, 2023
I-95 EXPANDS TO 12 LANES OVER THE RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER IN FREDERICKSBURG ON THURSDAY, NOV. 16
After 5 years of construction, work to improve I-95 is substantially complete ahead of Thanksgiving
UPDATE (Nov. 16, 2023 4:35 a.m.) The scheduled opening of local lanes for Route 3 traffic entering Interstate 95 northbound in Fredericksburg has been postponed to occur early Friday, Nov. 17.
Read the news release on the schedule change.
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Department of Transportation will shift Interstate 95 northbound traffic at the Rappahannock River into its final alignment this week, doubling northbound capacity in the Fredericksburg area.
After five years of construction in the Fredericksburg area to improve I-95, with a combined investment of $264 million to build the I-95 Northbound and Southbound Rappahannock River Crossings, there will be 12 interstate lanes spanning the river ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Our roads are more than just asphalt and concrete. They are the arteries that connect us to our families, friends, jobs and opportunities. That is why I-95 in the Fredericksburg area is a priority for Governor Youngkin’s administration. We will continue to see economic benefits from these projects as they relieve chronic congestion and improve safety on one of the most heavily traveled corridors on the East Coast,” said Virginia Secretary of Transportation W. Sheppard “Shep” Miller, III.
Today, local elected officials and transportation leaders held a ribbon cutting to commemorate the reopening of the I-95 northbound original Rappahannock River bridge, which is scheduled to occur tomorrow, Nov. 15.
Starting early Wednesday, Nov. 15, travelers will begin to use both I-95 northbound bridges over the river with traffic divided between local and through lanes, with all traffic in its final pattern by 6 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16. The pattern is similar to I-95 southbound between the exit 133 (Route 17) interchange in Stafford County and exit 130 (Route 3) in the City of Fredericksburg.
“These projects maximized land available for new infrastructure at the river to make travel more efficient, and reduce delays, while protecting our natural resources and strengthening the bridges we had already built. This combination of projects and people have paved the way to keep Virginia moving,” said Virginia Commissioner of Highways Stephen C. Brich, P.E.
Wagman Heavy Civil, Inc., built both Rappahannock River Crossing projects. The team closely coordinated with emergency responders and recreational user groups. Wagman’s construction of a portage ensured river access could continue during the project, and they upgraded several trail facilities near the Fredericksburg riverbank.
“We overcame challenges to mitigate and minimize the impacts to drivers, the trucking industry, residents, river and trail users because we care about this community. Working together, VDOT and the design-build team achieved all commitments to deliver both projects to travelers on time and within budget,” said Wagman Heavy Civil Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Greg Andricos, P.E.
During the project’s planning stage, VDOT engineers saw an opportunity to rehabilitate the original I-95 northbound bridge. In December 2022, when the new northbound bridge opened, crews closed the original bridge to accelerate a $6.2 million maintenance project, which restored the bridge deck to provide a smoother travel surface.
Staring early Wednesday, drivers will decide before the divide to travel in northbound local or through travel lanes, with a new decision point after the Fall Hill Avenue overpass at mile marker 132.
Nearly 150,000 vehicles a day travel I-95 in the Fredericksburg region. The Rappahannock River Crossing projects reduce congestion by separating local traffic from regional traffic along the corridor. Almost half of the drivers entering I-95 from the Route 17 and Route 3 interchanges exit on the opposite side of the Rappahannock River, traveling just one exit.
Although construction on the I-95 Northbound Rappahannock River Crossing project is substantially complete, with all new lanes to be opened this week on the interstate, the contractor will continue to accomplish final work activities through May 2024. Remaining activities will be concentrated along Route 17 in Stafford, as crews finish building turn lanes, installing sidewalk and drainage systems. Final paving on all travel lanes of Route 17 northbound and southbound between Short Street and South Gateway Drive/Sanford Drive will occur in spring 2024.
Visit Improve95.org to learn more.
VDOT’s 14-county Fredericksburg District includes the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford in the Fredericksburg area; Northumberland, Richmond, Lancaster and Westmoreland counties in the Northern Neck; Essex, Gloucester, King & Queen, King William, Mathews and Middlesex counties in the Middle Peninsula.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.