Commuters in Fredericksburg, Virginia, should avoid driving on Interstate 95 early this week or risk being frozen in traffic.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is warning drivers to avoid I-95 northbound in the Fredericksburg area from Monday evening through the predawn hours Wednesday morning.
Lane closures and temporary traffic patterns will last nearly 36 hours because of work to open a new interstate bridge over the Rappahannock River, according to a news release from VDOT.
The new bridge is between the City of Fredericksburg and Stafford County, at mile marker 132.
Where to bail
Northbound traffic will be reduced to a single lane Monday evening.
The worst of the backups is expected to begin north of I-95 Exit 118/Thornburg in Spotsylvania County.
The good news is, VDOT is offering some advice to avoid the delays.
Travelers heading north of the D.C. area should detour at Exit 104/Carmel Church in Caroline County. Take Route 207 eastbound to Route 301 northbound.
Look up at those overhead message boards on interstates 95, 85, 295 in Virginia for directions to alternative routes.
- Listen to WTOP Traffic on the 8s online and on the radio at 103.5 FM or 107.7 FM.
- Sign up for WTOP alerts
Here are all the details, according to VDOT:
- 5 p.m. Monday — Single lane of I-95 northbound closed, starting north of Exit 130/Route 3 in Fredericksburg.
- 7 p.m. Monday — Two lanes closed.
- 4:30 a.m. Tuesday — All lanes open, but in a temporary pattern. Two lanes will cross the new interstate bridge. A single lane crosses the existing Rappahannock River bridge, providing access to Exit 133/Route 17 and continuing to points north.
- 7 p.m. Tuesday — Single lane closed. Exit 133/Falmouth-Warrenton off-ramp in Stafford closed. Alternate exit to access Route 17 is Exit 136/Centreport Parkway in Stafford.
- 4:30 a.m. Wednesday — All lanes open, and Exit 133/Falmouth-Warrenton reopens. Northbound traffic exiting to Exit 133/Falmouth-Warrenton will use a temporary off-ramp beginning at mile marker 131, crossing the existing Rappahannock River bridge.
Commuters traveling southbound shouldn’t be affected by the work.
The bridge opening is part of the I-95 Northbound Rappahannock River Crossing project, which will add three lanes to the busiest segments of the interstate in the Fredericksburg area.
The bridge is expected to open this month, but the project won’t be done until spring 2024.
Some work zones that are part of the 95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension will overlap with the closures from the bridge work. Listen to WTOP for any problems that come out of that work, which lasts through Thursday night.