FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Fort Belvoir’s main gate, Pence Gate, reopened early Tuesday after three weeks of construction to rebuild the front gate’s intersection to better accommodate traffic that backs up near the Fairfax County, Virginia, military base.
The construction is part of the U.S. 1 widening project.
Traffic is expected to flow much better off U.S. 1 and into the army base now, according to Doug Hecox, a spokesman with the Federal Highway Administration.
He says queuing and traffic backups by the base should be less likely to happen now that a lane has been added.
“It’s going to accommodate more drivers, more people (and) make rush-hour less frenetic than it’s been down there in quite a while,” he said.
U.S. 1 carries 30,000 to 40,000 drivers a day, but was designed to carry just 10,000 to 15,000, Hecox said.
As part of the intersection reconstruction, crews replaced storm drains and traffic signals and repaved the road. They also lowered the road by 4 feet to make it consistent with the rest of U.S. 1, Hecox said.
While drivers are expected to experience some relief with this work, Hecox said there is more work to be done between Pence and Tulley gates, and that will take several weeks.
Additionally, he said extra work needs to be done in the Woodlawn area of U.S. 1 where workers will rip out about 2,500 feet of concrete and replace it with asphalt and other paving materials.
He said that work will depend on the weather, but if the weather cooperates, it should wrap up by mid-December.