WASHINGTON — More lanes, a new sidewalk and a new traffic light at Colonial Forge High School are parts of a major project to widen Courthouse Road and build a new interchange at Interstate 95 that got underway with a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday.
Real construction work is due to start Monday on the west side of Interstate 95 to widen Courthouse Road from two to four lanes from Ramoth Church Road to Cedar Lane past Colonial Forge.
That $35.9 million project, which includes two new traffic lights, includes a realignment of Ramoth Church Road and Winding Creek Road so that the two intersect and a 10-foot shared use path for people walking or on bikes. It’s due to be finished in December 2019.
“It will add a new path for pedestrians so they can walk, bike or run between the neighborhoods as well as all the way down to the park and ride lot if they choose,” VDOT Fredericksburg District Engineer Marcie Parker said.
The new traffic light in front of the high school will be in place before school starts this fall, she said. The second new light, at the rebuilt intersection of Winding Creek and Ramoth Church roads outside Winding Creek Elementary School is scheduled to be activated at the end of construction.
The cost of the project is split between the state and Stafford County. Widening Courthouse Road (Va. 630) has been a top priority for the county for about a decade.
“We have been waiting a long time for this project,” Stafford County board of supervisors Chair Paul Milde said.
Combined with a related project at Interstate 95 and to the east, Milde said the construction will change the center of the county.
“All the right pieces are fitting together to do something special for a downtown Stafford. We were just a bedroom community for so many people, for so long,” Milde said.
Construction on the related $149.4 million project is due to begin this fall. It will widen an additional stretch of Courthouse Road to four lanes, build a new park-and-ride lot and construct a new interchange at I-95.
Exit 140 will be moved slightly south to become what is known as a diverging diamond interchange, where drivers briefly end up driving on the left side of the road. A similar interchange recently opened at Interstate 66 and U.S. 15, and several more are planned across Northern Virginia.
The project will also move Courthouse Road on the east side of I-95 south to meet Route 1 at Hospital Center Boulevard, which should ease the pressure on today’s busy Route 1-Courthouse Road intersection outside the county courthouse.
That widening and interchange work is due to be completed in the summer of 2020.
During construction, VDOT said, lanes will remain open during rush hour, but there may be one lane closed in either direction at other times.