I-95 Express Lanes

The express lane extension hasn’t improved travel times for southbound traffic.

PLENTY of people have an opinion about Interstate 95, so if you want yours heard, you’ll get that chance next Tuesday, July 23.

That’s when state officials will hold a meeting to hear public comments on an I–95 corridor improvement study.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. at James Monroe High School.

The study will focus on 179 miles of the I–95 corridor between the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Alexandria and the North Carolina border, the Virginia Department of Transportation said in a release announcing a series of meetings for the study.

Anyone who has braved the drive on I–95 between Fredericksburg and Washington knows full well how bad it can get.

In 2017, a stretch of I–95 in Stafford County was selected as the worst traffic hotspot in the United States by INRIX Roadway Analytics, which operates a “cloud-based” traffic data platform on vehicles around the world.

While there is more than $1 billion in ongoing and planned work along the Fredericksburg-area corridor, this asphalt leviathan is an extremely difficult beast to tame, especially when the entire stretch of highway is considered.

VDOT said the study will identify key issues along the corridor, “and identify potential solutions and areas for additional review and study.”

The first series of meetings will focus on “identifying issues along the corridor to be addressed, including crash frequency, crash severity, delay, and incidents that close interstate travel lanes for time periods longer than one hour,” according to VDOT.

Another two rounds of meetings will be held later in the year and will focus on solutions and recommendations for how to proceed.

For those who can’t make it to the meeting, an online option to find information and offer comments has been developed.

The study is the result of a pair of resolutions this year sponsored by Del. Mark Cole, R–Spotsylvania, with an aim to develop a strategic plan to deal with congestion along the interstate corridor.

The study will be similar to the one completed late last year on the Interstate 81 corridor. That study resulted in a $2 billion package of projects, while also identifying methods to raise revenue for the work, including a truck tax, diesel tax and a regional fuels tax.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board is expected to present the study’s findings to the General Assembly in December.

Expect delays on

King George road

Drivers who use Dahlgren Road between State Route 3 and State Route 301 in King George County should expect delays this week.

The road will be reduced to a single lane between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. all week while the roadway is milled and paved as part of a project aimed at improving several heavily traveled roads in the county.

Crews will direct traffic during the lane closure.

Other roads targeted for similar work include Route 3, Caledon Road, Potomac Drive, Owens Drive and Commerce Drive.

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Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436 sshenk@freelancestar.com

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