Nov. 16 – According to a two-year federal study of the Washington (DC) Beltway, Fairfax County’s I-95/I-395/I-495 Springfield interchange in Virginia is the most dangerous spot on the 64-mile highway. Starting in January, an eight-year, $350 million project begins to rebuild the interchange, nicknamed the “mixing bowl.”
Currently, traffic has to cross several lanes in a short distance to enter or exit the roads. This was responsible for 179 accidents at the interchange during the two-year study.
The project consists of building more than 40 bridges and flyovers and widening I-95 to 21 lanes between the beltway and Franconia Road. The result will separate local traffic from through traffic, according to Virginia Department of Transportation engineer Ken Wester. “You won’t recognize the Springfield Interchange after it’s been improved,” he says.
Beginning in January, work will begin on the Route 644 interchange, Commerce Street, parts of local northbound and southbound roads and Franconia/Old Keene Mill Road. In January 2000, the plan is to start work on I-95 southbound, part of the beltway at the railroad and part of the HOV roadway. In January 2001, work is scheduled to begin on part of the eastbound beltway and ramp N-W.
The interchange will be open to all traffic during the entire construction period. There will be no lane closures during rush hours.
For updates on the construction, visit http://www.springfieldinterchange.com, or call the project’s hotline at (703) 383-VDOT.