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Workers busy this summer on roads

Crews continue work on the I–95 Express Lanes project as northbound traffic backs up in all lanes at Telegraph Road in Stafford County on Friday. / Photos by Peter Cihelka

Crews continue work on the I–95 Express Lanes project as northbound traffic backs up in all lanes at Telegraph Road in Stafford County on Friday. / Photos by Peter Cihelka

It’s that time of year again—fun in the sun, road trips and, yes, highway construction.

Along with the requisite summertime paving and patching work, there also will be no shortage of road projects in the Fredericksburg area this summer.

“We do ask that people pack their patience, and be ready for some delays,” said Kelly Hannon with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Automobiles and a firetruck ease through a work zone along U.S. 17 at Falls Run Drive in Stafford County on Friday.

Automobiles and a firetruck ease through a work zone along U.S. 17 at Falls Run Drive in Stafford County on Friday.

The influx of millions of dollars last year for transportation projects has allowed VDOT to start work on more projects than previously expected, she said.

“We have more active construction zones … on some primary routes [than in the past few years],” Hannon said.

Here’s a rundown of the big construction projects expected to have the most impact on your daily commutes and travel plans this summer.

I–95 EXPRESS LANES

This summer should be the final stretch run of this massive, nearly $1 billion project along 29 miles of Interstate 95.

The High Occupancy Vehicle lanes are being converted to electronically tolled lanes for cars with less than three occupants. The reversible center lanes also are being extended from Dumfries to Garrisonville.

There have been plenty of lane closures since work started in 2012. Expect more this summer.

VDOT’s Steve Titunik said express lanes work will be geared toward various facets of the project this summer.

Crews will continue building sound walls and adding overhead signs and other equipment. The four new flyover ramps also will be paved.

The finishing touches on the project will include concrete barriers, guardrails, electronic gates and paving of the new lanes.

Expect overnight and weekend closures of the HOV and primary lanes throughout the summer.

FALMOUTH INTERSECTION

If Easter weekend was any indication, this southern Stafford County intersection of U.S. 1, 17 and Butler Road can still pack ’em in.

During the holiday weekend, there seemed to be a constant line of traffic backed up across the northbound lanes of the Falmouth Bridge—that’s often the case during the daily commuter rush, too.

With lane closures set to happen only at night, this project is designed to have as little impact on traffic as possible. But there still figures to be daytime traffic impacts because of the construction zone.

The $24.8 million project will double the number of lanes at the intersection. New sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and raised concrete medians also will be added to the intersection.

Preliminary work has been going on for about a year, but the real roadwork is just starting.

The rebuilt intersection is expected to be completed by September 2015.

U.S. 17 WIDENING

Adding lanes to U.S. 17 west of I–95 already has made for some big, though temporary, changes on the highly traveled Stafford highway.

Temporary travel lanes have recently been set up to help crews do their work and speeds have been decreased through the work zone.

Drivers who haven’t gotten used to this project will have plenty of time to do so. Construction isn’t set to be finished until December 2016.

The $48.9 million project will widen the highway between McLane Drive and Stafford Lakes Parkway.

When the work is done, the widened segment will have three through lanes each way as well as a continuous right-turn lane and dual left-turn lanes where needed.

CANAL BRIDGE PROJECT

Work continues on the new Fall Hill Avenue bridge in Fredericksburg on Friday.

Work continues on the new Fall Hill Avenue bridge in Fredericksburg on Friday.

It’s a small bridge but the replacement work on the deteriorated span has caused a long-term closure of popular Fall Hill Avenue in Fredericksburg.

The traffic impact so far on surrounding roads has been noticeable, but not overwhelming.

Drivers will have to endure the entire summer without using Fall Hill, as work is expected to run into November.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

SMALLER ROAD PROJECTS SET

Construction projects on major roads aren’t the only ones that cause delays.

Here are some other, smaller regional projects to keep an eye out for this summer:

U.S. 1–Mudd Tavern Road intersection: Work to add turn lanes on U.S. 1 at this intersection in Spotsylvania County is expected to start soon. It is expected to be finished in May 2015.

U.S. 1–Telegraph Road intersection: This federally funded project in North Stafford is set to start in May. The project will add and extend turn lanes at the busy intersection.

Aquia Creek bridge: This project involves the replacement of the U.S. 1 bridge over Aquia Creek in North Stafford. A temporary bridge has been built, so work is focused on the new permanent bridge. Work isn’t expected to be finished until August 2015.

Chancellor Convenience Center entrance: The new signalized intersection at the busy Harrison Road landfill in Spotsylvania should be up an running by June.

Mountain View Road: The nearly $7.6 million project will include several improvements to a 1-mile stretch of the two-lane road with no shoulders west of Mountain View High School in Stafford. The county is managing the project, which is expected to be finished by July 2015.

Dahlgren Road intersection: This King George project will add new turn lanes to Dahlgren Road at the intersection with Windsor Drive and Owens Drive. Dahlgren Road will be closed for several days in May, so traffic will have to use detours. The State Route 206 project is expected to be finished by December.

James Monroe Highway bridge: Work on replacing the bridge over the Mattox Creek in Westmoreland County is set to start in July. The State Route 205 bridge will be replaced in phases. Temporary traffic signals will be installed at each end of the bridge. Traffic will take turns crossing the bridge in a single travel lane. Work is expected to be completed in July 2016.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

 

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