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Beleaguered I-95 commuters get temporary relief

DUMFRIES, Va. – Commuters traveling Interstate 95 in Virginia have noticed a big increase in traffic jams over the last few weeks, especially in Prince William County. It’s a combination of Express Lane construction, Base Realignment and Closure-related changes and shoulder improvements that have created a new headache, particularly in the southbound direction.

Bobby Woodard heads south on his commute after dropping his wife off at the Dumfries Park and Ride.

“It’s a pain in the neck now, but I think it will be well worth it when they’re completed,” Woodard says of the Express Lanes.

On Monday, the Virginia Department of Transportation will change the traffic flow in the existing High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, cutting off northbound traffic at 10 a.m., instead of 11 a.m., and opening southbound traffic at noon instead of 1 p.m.

“The earlier they can change it up, the better,” says Woodard.

Leslie Austin picks up her spouse at the Dumfries Park and Ride, too. She says Virgina Department of Transportation waits too long to open the southbound lanes and should be more aware of traffic patterns.

The change in traffic flow is only temporary. It wraps up in October when the summer maintenance season ends.

Construction on the new Express Lanes to Garrisonville, Va., will last at least another year and a half with completion scheduled for the end of 2014.

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