The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
SOIL FIX IMPACTING I–95 NEAR QUANTICO
BY SCOTT SHENK
Work to shore up an area along southbound Interstate 95 plagued by bad soil will continue for several weeks.
The embankment just south of Quantico is being stabilized with construction of a retaining wall.
The work, which started in December, has forced daytime closures of the right lane around mile marker 147, south of exit 148 and the Quantico Marine Corps base.
Because of the nature of the work, and the need for warm weather, it’s expected to take another four weeks to complete, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Kelly Hannon.
The lane closures will be in place from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. To avoid exacerbating interstate congestion, the lane closure will be lifted if backups reach three miles, Hannon said.
“Closing a travel lane of Interstate 95 is always our last resort,” said Marcie Parker, VDOT assistant district administrator for maintenance and operations, in a release. “However, without immediate action, this erosion was likely to spread beyond the shoulder, which would lead to even greater disruption for motorists. Completing this work now will allow us to finish it ahead of the spring and summer travel season, and protect the public infrastructure.”
The problem is the soil, and the work to fix the area has been intensive.
VDOT crews hauled nearly 2,500 tons of “unsuitable soil” from the slope along the interstate. Then, they built a 12-foot retaining wall.
The work involved using a “nail launcher” to drill holes beneath the interstate. Then workers inserted steel rods into the holes. Mesh wire was placed over the rods and anchored with bolts. The entire surface was then filled with concrete.
Also, last week VDOT engineers determined that an additional 12 feet of retaining wall has to be built. They also decided that larger stones are needed to support the wall.
The work has to be done during the warmer daytime hours because of the concrete being used, VDOT officials said.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436