I recently received an email from VDOT I’d like to share. It includes information regarding construction-related lane closures on I-395 South, I-95 South, as well as the southbound HOV lanes. This may address some concerns I’ve heard about the differing times at which these lane closures are removed from the roadway.
The end times for construction-related lane closures are determined based on the traffic volumes that each roadway carries. While I-395 South is definitely a major commuter route in the afternoons, traffic volumes are not as heavy as they are on I-95 South. A percentage of the I-395 South traffic merges onto I-495 (the Capital Beltway), rather than joining I-95 South. Contrarily, I-95 carries traffic coming from I-95, I-495 and I-395. The heavier traffic volumes on I-95 South require lane closures to be removed and fully restored to traffic earlier than on I-395 South. The following lane closure times currently are being implemented for I-95 Express Lanes construction and also were used on the recent I-95 4th Lane Widening Project:
- I-395 South lane closures must be removed and all lanes restored to traffic by 3:30 p.m.
- HOV lanes on I-395/I-95 must be removed and all lanes restored to traffic by 3:00 p.m.
- I-95 South lane closures must be removed and all lanes restored to traffic by 2:00 p.m.
To ensure that these parameters remain appropriate, VDOT is continually monitoring traffic throughout the construction work zones. Adjustments to these times can be made, if warranted. However, their project management team has determined that these times are appropriate at this time.
While VDOT empathizes with our frustrations, please understand that VDOT must implement lane closures on I-95 in order for the contractor to complete critical traffic improvements in a safe and expeditious manner. VDOT makes every effort to keep traffic moving through our construction zones, and to minimize impacts to the traveling public. Through strategies such as on-road signage, increased presence of police and safety service patrols, a robust communications program and the promotion of commute alternatives, VDOT is working hard to ease the burden that drivers face during this busy construction period.
If you wish to sign up to receive Northern Virginia lane closure alerts, so you know what to expect before traveling, please visit our website at www.vamegaprojects.com. You may also visit www.511northernvirginia.org or call “511” for real-time traffic information and lane closures. Lastly, if you are traveling from I-395 South to I-95 South, VDOT has a dynamic message sign off I-395 near Duke Street alerting drivers about real-time travel conditions ahead on I-95.