Express Lanes (copy1)

Southbound Interstate 95 traffic approaches U.S. 17 in Stafford County as work on the express lanes extension continues.

A pair of bridge closures in Stafford County are part of various construction impacts coming as work ramps up on the Interstate 95 express lanes extension project.

More signs will appear, along with temporary construction access points and concrete barriers, Brent McKenzie, a spokesman for Transurban, the company that operates the express lanes, told the Policy Committee for the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization this week.

He also said crews are clearing and preparing the median where the lanes will be built.

A major aspect of the extension project is bridge work. The Stafford bridges will be the first of seven spans crews will rebuild for the project.

The Truslow Road overpass will be lengthened and a pier will be removed where the lanes will be added. That work will close the section of Truslow Road for up to nine months. The American Legion Road bridge also will be closed for about nine months so crews can do the same work on that structure.

McKenzie said detour routes have been established.

Work is expected to start on the Truslow bridge by January, meaning the section would be closed through September 2020. The suggested detour route is Plantation Drive and U.S. 17.

After that project is done, work will start on the American Legion Road bridge, with the reopening scheduled for summer 2021. The suggested detour route is Centreport Parkway to U.S. 1.

Stafford County Supervisor Cindy Shelton asked if Transurban was coordinating with schools officials on the expected impacts from the detoured traffic. During the school year, the U.S. 1 area near Centreport is busy with Stafford High School traffic.

McKenzie said the company is working with school and transportation officials and welcomes suggestions for dealing with the impacts. He acknowledged the detour “might not be a lot of fun” for drivers along the route.

The express lanes project, the second extension since the electronically tolled system opened in 2014, will add about 10 miles of two reversible lanes in the median south of the current merge area in North Stafford. New access points will be added to Quantico and Old Courthouse Road.

Work on the $565 million project is expected to finish in fall 2022.

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Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

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