ROAD DESIGN: New concept introduced for Rappahannock River crossing project in Virginia

May 17, 2017

Transportation authorities in the state changed the concept after public comments raised concerns about the original design on the I-95 project

The massive southbound Rappahannock River crossing project has a new design concept that came about after the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) heard from the public about the original plan.

Instead of building the collector-distributor lanes on the outside parallel to I-95’s primary lanes, the plan calls for building three new lanes in the median. Those new lanes in the median would serve as the new primary lanes. The existing primary lanes would be converted to carry traffic on the new feeder lanes, with three lanes instead of the two that were originally planned. The new plan also will extend the southernmost merge area about one mile further than originally planned.

The $125 million crossing project will add feeder lanes along southbound I–95 between U.S. 17 in Stafford County and S.R. 3 in Fredericksburg. The project also includes adding lanes to the U.S. 17 southbound exit ramp onto I-95.

There is a companion crossing project for the northbound side of I-95, but it has not yet been approved for funding. There are no plans to move the northbound collector-distributor lanes to the median.

VDOT’s Fredericksburg District Administrator Marcie Parker unveiled the new plan Monday night at the monthly meeting for the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee. Public comments on the original plan raised concerns about ramps, merge and sign issues and VDOT decided to look at alternative schemes.

The new design is not expected to have an impact on the project cost. Work on the crossing project is slated to start in late 2018 and be completed in 2022.