Another banner summer travel season appears to be on the horizon for Americans.
The auto club AAA projects nearly 100 million people will take a vacation in the United States this spring and summer, with 53 percent of them planning a road trip.
Luckily, none of AAA’s top destination spots are along the Interstate 95 corridor in these parts, but you can bet more than a few of those road-trippers will find themselves coming to a stop as they try to pass through the Fredericksburg area.
The traditional bottleneck on the interstate from points south to points north during the warm seasons gets an unneeded bonus this year from a plethora of construction projects—along with the barrels, jersey walls, heavy equipment and lane closures that come as part of the package.
Maybe some of those travelers will plan ahead. Maybe some will decide on a more scenic route and avoid the mess altogether.
Some may see another option. It’s been there for a while: U.S. 301.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has offered up this route option in the recent past, as a way to avoid I–95 congestion and all of the work being done, and that will continue for several years.
Massaponax exit design changes unveiled
While the work is still several years from starting, the preliminary designs are in for a trio of projects aimed at improving traffic flow in the area of U.S. 1, the I–95 exit and Southpoint Parkway in Spotsylvania County.
VDOT unveiled the early designs at a public hearing last week.
The projects will add:
- Another right-turn lane on the southbound I-95 exit ramp.
- A lane on southbound U.S. 1 from the exit ramp that will become a right-turn lane to Southpoint Parkway.
- A lane on Southpoint Parkway from U.S. 1 to the turn lane in front of the Longhorn Steakhouse.
- Another right-turn lane on Southpoint Parkway at the U.S. 1 intersection.
Work on the $16.72 million project is slated to begin in June 2022 and be finished by May 2024.
Temporary change set for Thornburg exit
Drivers should expect an exit ramp change at the Mudd Tavern Road interchange from northbound I–95.
VDOT plans to make the shift to the new off ramp, along with a temporary stoplight, this week.
The signal is set to be activated on a flashing pattern Tuesday and become fully operational on Thursday. The ramp also is set to open Thursday, after peak morning traffic.
The $22.4 million project on the Thornburg interchange is scheduled to be finished by September.
When the revamped interchange opens, along with the new overpass and improvements to Mudd Tavern Road, there will be two additional stoplights to manage traffic.
Washed out street open again
Only one day after heavy rains drenched the area, a Stafford County neighborhood street closed by heavy rains back in October was re-opened.
Hamlin Drive, in the Ridge Pointe neighborhood, opened to through traffic on Friday, according to VDOT. Crews repaired a void under the pavement and replaced a damaged 72-inch corrugated metal drainage pipe.