2nd round of major bridge repairs could snarl I-95 traffic all weekend

Three areas of a crumbling bridge over Neabsco Creek, just south of Potomac Mills Mall in Virginia, need extensive repairs. (Courtesy VDOT)
Three areas of a crumbling bridge over Neabsco Creek, just south of Potomac Mills Mall in Virginia, need extensive repairs. (Courtesy VDOT) (Courtesy VDOT)
Crews working on the first round of repairs to the Neabsco Bridge. (Courtesy VDOT) (Courtesy VDOT)
Crews working on the first round of repairs to the Neabsco Bridge. (Courtesy VDOT)
Crews working on the first round of repairs to the Neabsco Bridge. (Courtesy VDOT) (Courtesy VDOT)
Crews working on the first round of repairs to the Neabsco Bridge. (Courtesy VDOT) (Courtesy VDOT)
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Three areas of a crumbling bridge over Neabsco Creek, just south of Potomac Mills Mall in Virginia, need extensive repairs. (Courtesy VDOT)
Crews working on the first round of repairs to the Neabsco Bridge. (Courtesy VDOT)

UPDATE, 5/20/2017, 2:30 a.m.: The second round of major repairs to the Neabsco Bridge on Interstate 95 near Dale City that was scheduled this weekend has been postponed due to pavement moisture.

WASHINGTON — A second round of major repairs to the Neabsco Bridge will close lanes on Interstate 95 near Dale City all weekend long and could lead to extensive congestion and delays, the Virginia Department of Transportation said.

Starting 10 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday, southbound I-95 lanes over the bridge will be reduced from three to two lanes, and all ramps from eastbound and westbound Dale Boulevard to southbound I-95 will also be closed. 

The weekend-long roadwork is scheduled to last a full day longer than the first round of repairs, completed in late April.

The first round of repairs did not cause major traffic backups, in part because there weren’t any crashes near the work zone, VDOT spokeswoman Ellen Kamilakis told WTOP. There was about a half-mile backup in the southbound lanes and some congestion in the northbound lanes too, she said.

But because the repair work is expected to last all day Saturday, VDOT is preparing for the potential for more extensive backups this weekend and urging drivers to plan ahead.

“If you’re going to be on the road, and you absolutely have to use the interstate, there are going to be additional delays,” Kamilakis said.

The Express Lanes are slated to be pointed southbound throughout the weekend to compensate for the extra lane that’s lost to the work. But crews have the capacity to modify that if they start seeing massive backups in the northbound lanes, she said.

VDOT is encouraging drivers to take alternate routes and released a map of some potential options:

Crews are expected to finish the repairs on schedule, Kamilakis said. Crews may even complete the repairs early.

“When you build in a construction schedule, you’re going to build in an extra buffer of time for things to not go as planned,” Kamilakis said. “So, basically, we have some extra buffer of time, if there is any additional issues that are noticed with the bridge.”

The second round of repairs had originally been scheduled two weeks ago but was delayed twice because of rain.

The Neabsco Bridge, which was built in 1963, remains safe but needs major repairs to sections of its bridge deck. Crew this weekend will be cutting out portions of the bridge, adding in new rebar, pouring new concrete and fixing some of the bridge’s joints, Kamilakis said.

VDOT wants to complete the repairs before the heavy travel season.

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