The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Getting There: Lower gas prices a summer surprise
BY SCOTT SHENK
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Gas prices have been steadily dropping of late.
A gallon of regular costs 27 cents less in Virginia than it did last year.
That’s the opposite of what was expected earlier in the year, and with the peak summer travel season upon us, this is a nice surprise.
But before we do any cartwheels, here’s a quick look back at how good we used to have it.
About this time in 2010, Virginians were paying $2.66 a gallon. A year before that, gas was running at $2.37 a gallon.
We can feel good, though, that it isn’t 2008 again, when Virginians were forking out $3.89 a gallon in a year during which prices topped $4 a gallon.
But going back further can bring tears to a driver’s eyes.
Here’s what Virginians were paying for gas in the good ol’ days:
And, to top it off, in 2001 there were reports of a new record high. How much were we poor Virginians paying for a gallon then? $1.72.
Anyway, enjoy the summer driving season and the falling price of gas.
Dear Scott: While returning from Richmond the night of [May 24] on I–95 north, as we passed Exit 98 (Doswell), we saw our first VDOT electronic sign informing us that two out of three lanes were closed before our exit (104).
There was now no legal way to exit. On the Thursday night before the holiday weekend there was a lot of traffic, and we were stuck for about an hour, as VDOT filled holes in the road. If I had seen the sign announcing the road work before the Doswell exit, I could have either taken State Route 30 east to U.S. 301, or taken 30 west to U.S. 1 and gone north that way.
Why did VDOT not inform us of this road work sooner? Or did I miss a previous sign? Also a sign telling us which lane was open would have been helpful, as we jockeyed to form one lane.
—Terry Naumann, King George
VDOT spokeswoman Tina Bundy said there weren’t enough details in the question for VDOT to respond directly to it.
But, she added, the question made them look at the situation and make changes.
As the paving continues, the department will set up the signs so drivers will be able to use the Ladysmith and Doswell exits, which will allow them to use U.S. 1.
That will help keep down jams on I–95. U.S. 1 will get the added traffic, but that’s how it goes with road work.
“The good news,” said Bundy, “is that we have no work zones scheduled on I–95 north in Caroline County or in Stafford County for the next week or so.”
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436