FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 5, 2021
NEW I-95 SOUTHBOUND BRIDGE TO
OPEN AT THE RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER
Travelers can expect major southbound delays from 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12 until 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13 with a six-mile work zone to shift traffic into a new pattern in Stafford to Fredericksburg
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – Next week, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will open the second Interstate 95 southbound bridge over the Rappahannock River in the Fredericksburg area.
I-95 southbound capacity across the Rappahannock River will be doubled when the new bridge opens. Six southbound travel lanes will cross the river, marking a significant milestone in the construction of the $132 million.
The existing southbound bridge will carry local traffic between exit 133 (Route 17) in Stafford County and exit 130 (Route 3) in the City of Fredericksburg. Through traffic, or travelers with destinations south of Fredericksburg, will use the new bridge.
Signs will direct drivers as they navigate the new decision point south of exit 136 (Centreport Parkway).
Crews will also open a new interstate overpass that spans Route 17 in Stafford.
While additional southbound travel lanes are opening next week, motorists will still encounter a temporary traffic pattern as work continues toward project completion in late 2021.
Expect Major I-95 Southbound Delays Oct. 12-13
To prepare for the new traffic pattern, lane closures are scheduled on I-95 southbound over 19 hours between the exit 136 (Centreport Parkway) and exit 130 (Route 3) interchanges. Crews will be milling and paving, and will uncover new overhead signs that will guide drivers through a new decision point for separate local and through traffic lanes.
I-95 southbound travelers can expect major delays from 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12 through 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13.
I-95 southbound travelers are strongly encouraged to choose an alternate route on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 12, through early afternoon Wednesday, Oct. 13 to avoid delays, especially for destinations outside the Fredericksburg area.
All lanes of I-95 northbound will remain open during this traffic shift.
In the event of inclement weather, this work zone will be rescheduled to occur the following week from 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, until 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19.
Decide Before the Divide: What Travelers Can Expect
When all I-95 southbound lanes reopen at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, traffic will be divided between local and through lanes over Route 17 and the Rappahannock River.
Watch a simulation video of this new traffic pattern.
Beginning Wednesday afternoon, drivers will be divided between local and through travel lanes just south of exit 136 (Centreport Parkway).
To reach local interchanges, including exits 133 (Route 17) and 130 (Route 3) and the Safety Rest Area and Welcome Center, motorists need to remain in the right lane.
All three I-95 southbound through lanes will be open for drivers with destinations south of Fredericksburg. Through travelers will need to stay in the three left-most lanes.
Separated southbound local and through traffic will then merge back together south of Route 3 in Spotsylvania County and continue on existing I-95 southbound.
Exit 133 (Route 17) Interchange Area
For I-95 southbound traffic exiting to Route 17, northbound and southbound, the off-ramp at exit 133 will remain a single lane. The interchange loop ramps will remain closed until late 2021. Temporary traffic signals on Route 17 will continue to direct traffic entering and exiting I-95.
In late 2021, the Route 17 southbound to I-95 southbound ramp will be widened to two lanes. When this occurs, the local travel lanes near this interchange will be expanded from a single lane to two travel lanes spanning Route 17. All local traffic will enter into three travel lanes before the bridge over the Rappahannock River.
Exit 130 (Route 3) Interchange Area
For motorists approaching the Route 3 interchange in the local lanes, be aware that three travel lanes will be reduced to a single lane after the Cowan Boulevard overpass, at mile marker 131, until south of the exit 130 interchange. This temporary traffic pattern will be in place for an estimated 3-4 weeks, at which time a second lane under the Route 3 overpass will open.
Through lanes will also be in a temporary traffic pattern in this area, reduced from three to two lanes before merging with local traffic in the three existing lanes of I-95.
The temporary traffic pattern is necessary to allow crews to finish construction near the Route 3 overpass.
Crews anticipate opening all local and through lanes near the exit 130 interchange by Dec. 2021.
Construction on the I-95 Southbound Rappahannock River Crossing began in August 2018 and is tracking to be completed five months ahead of schedule in Dec. 2021.
With nearly 150,000 vehicles a day traveling on I-95 near the Rappahannock River, the new lanes will allow local traffic to travel along I-95 between interchanges separated from regional and interstate traffic traveling through the Fredericksburg area.
The I-95 Northbound Rappahannock River Crossing project will build additional northbound travel lanes between the same interchanges. Construction began in summer 2020, and new lanes will open to traffic in early 2024.
Both Rappahannock River Crossing projects will connect with 95 Express Lanes, which are being extended over 10 additional miles in Stafford to the Route 17 area. Construction continues on 95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension Project. The project is building three new access points to express lanes at exit 148 (Quantico), exit 140 (Courthouse Road) and at exit 133.
For additional information, please visit the Improve 95 website.
Motorists can find real-time information on lane closures, work zones, traffic and other incidents on 511Virginia.
VDOT’s 14-county Fredericksburg District includes the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford in the Fredericksburg area; Northumberland, Richmond, Lancaster and Westmoreland counties in the Northern Neck; Essex, Gloucester, King & Queen, King William, Mathews and Middlesex counties in the Middle Peninsula.