WASHINGTON — Virginia residents will have a chance this week to check out revised designs for a new bridge over the Rappahannock River that will provide more lanes along Interstate 95 through the congested Fredericksburg area.
The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to hold a public information meeting Wednesday night at the Fredericksburg Hospitality House to present the designs for the bridge project, which will add three additional southbound lanes and separate through traffic from local traffic.
The $125 million project will be one of the largest in VDOT’s Fredericksburg District when construction starts next summer. The three new southbound, through lanes will be built in the median. The existing three lanes will become local lanes when the project is completed in 2022.
“Essentially when people start to approach the Route 17 interchange, they would have a choice of either staying in the local lanes or they could merge into the through lanes if they wanted to express through Fredericksburg. And that would carry them express right past the Route 3 exit,” said Kelly Hannon, VDOT Fredericksburg District Communications Manager.
It is similar to the local and through lanes at the Wilson Bridge on the Capital Beltway.
The new lanes are intended to connect to the end of the 95 Express Lanes extension, which will stretch from just south of Route 610/Garrisonville Road to just north of U.S. Route 17. While those express lanes would require three people in the car or a toll, the new Rappahannock Bridge lanes will be regular lanes available to all motorists.
“Really the goal is just to really reduce congestion. This is our busiest section of the interstate in the Fredericksburg area, it carries nearly 150,000 vehicles a day,” Hannon said.
Eventually, VDOT hopes to build a similar expansion for northbound traffic over the Rappahannock River.
“The region is certainly still very interested in the northbound piece … but there is no funding at this time,” Hannon said.
The public meeting is from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, at 2801 Plank Road, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
See the five design displays:
Rappahannock River Bridge by wtopweb on Scribd