At Least 35 Dead in Bridge Collapse

Old Dominion State Sets Its Sights on Highway Facelifts

Wed April 10, 2002 - Northeast Edition
Scott Green



The Virginia State Department of Transportation (VDOT) has plans for making highway improvements throughout the state.

Several projects on the VDOT’s docket are:

• Springfield Interchange Improvement Project Phase 5, Capital Beltway

Widening I-495, Capital Beltway, between I-95/395 and Heming Avenue Bridge, from 8 to up to 18 lanes and rebuilding three bridges (Heming Avenue; Backlick Road; bridge over Northern-Southern RR tracks), as well as realigning the ramp from I-395S to I-495W.

• Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project

Replace existing bridge on I-95/495 that crosses the Potomac River between Alexandria,VA, and Washington, D.C.

Final bridge will be six lanes wide; first span scheduled to be completed 2004/2005; and second span scheduled to be completed 2006/2007.

• Coliseum Central Highway Improvement Project

The highway is the portion of I-64 that lies in the city of Hampton between I-664 split and Hampton Roads Center Parkway.

$70 million is budgeted to replace cloverleaf at Mercury Boulevard Interchange with ramps and flyovers and repairing seven bridges that cross over it.

• Route 17

Widen Route 17 from North Carolina state line to intersection of Route 104 (Dominion in city of Chesapeake) a distance of 11.5 mi.

• Route 175

Replace two bridges on Route 175 in Accomack that cross Chincoteague and Black Narrows Channels with one bascule span movable bridge.

• Welcome Center

Construction of $8.1-million welcome center and rest area on I-85, 1.5 mi. from the state line in Mecklenberg County.

• Reconstruct Interchange

Reconstruct I-95 Altee/Elmont Interchange just north of the city of Richmond.

Reconstructed interchange is to be .3 mi. north of current interchange.

Upgrades to six existing connecting roads and build new road to connect Route 1 and Altee Starion Road with new interchange.

• Cowan Boulevard

Extend Cowan Boulevard in the city of Fredericksburg as four-lane divided highway connecting Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. 1 Bypass) to the east and the Carl D. Silver Parkway to the west and including bike/pedestrian paths on the south side of the highway.

• I-95 Interchange at Route 627

Build two-lane roadway from proposed Airport Connector Road at Stafford County Regional Airport, which is now under construction and at signalized interchange at U.S. 1/Route 95.

Future work beyond this depends on traffic flow.

• Virginia’s Smart Road

The smart road consists of a 5.7 mi. limited access highway between Blacksburg and I-81.

Each section of road as a testbed for incorporating new highway technologies with work to be done by Virginia Institute of Technology.