As the weekend nears, so does the planned 18-hour closure of all but one lane on northbound Interstate 95 at the U.S. 17 interchange in Stafford County.

The lane closures are slated to start at 4 p.m. Saturday and end by 10 a.m. Sunday, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. The Virginia Department of Transportation is warning motorists to expect significant traffic backups on I–95 North and alternative routes.

The work causing the lane closures is part of the southbound Rappahannock River crossing project. In this case, crews will be preparing to rebuild one of two U.S. 17 overpasses scheduled for improvements. Crews will work on the bridge over the northbound lanes first.

To do that work, temporary lanes will be built in the median for vehicles to use.

The lane closures will start near the Rappahannock River bridge. The U.S. 17 northbound exit and entrance ramp will remain open and will serve as one of the through lanes while crews build the temporary lanes in the median.

All northbound traffic will shift to the ramp lane beginning at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. U.S. 17 traffic will not be able to access the interstate’s northbound lanes during this time.

VDOT will erect detour signs directing traffic to get on U.S. 1 prior to the U.S. 17 interchange and use the Centreport Parkway exit to get back on I–95.

I–95 traffic is expected to be diverted to the new temporary lanes Sunday morning.

VDOT analyzed the best way to handle the work and settled on the 18-hour closure.

In order to help traffic flow on alternate routes, VDOT will make several adjustments while the work is being done.

The highway department will lift lane closures on northbound U.S. 1 in the Fredericksburg area, as well as along other alternate routes—northbound State Route 207 in Caroline County and northbound U.S. 301 in Caroline and King George counties.

Signal timing also will be adjusted on the detour routes, and overhead message boards will alert traffic on I–95 and Interstates 295 and 64 about the lane closures.

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Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

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