- Editor's Note: A photo gallery from Thursday morning's ribbon cutting will be up on Patch later this afternoon.
After 30 months of construction, the recently completed fourth lane of Interstate 95 was officially celebrated Thursday morning.
The six-mile stretch from Route 123 in Occoquan up to Fairfax County Parkway will improve commuting for more than 220,000 vehicles during the rush hour northbound in the morning and southbound in the evening.
Virginia Department of Transportation celebrated the project’s three-month-early completion date with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the Route 123 commuter parking lot in Woodbridge, complete with representatives from around the I-95 corridor.
Virginia Megaprojects spokesperson Mike Salmon said that the additional lane would shave off 10 to 20 minutes during the morning and evening rush hours.
“It will prevent the bottlenecking southbound at the Springfield interchange,” said Salmon of the lane improvement.
The $122 million project began in 2008, and according to Secretary of Transportation and Prince William County resident Sean T. Connaughton, was petitioned for nearly 10 years ago when he was on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.
“This will help the region and people traveling the East Coast,” said Connaughton. “We are actively pursuing the HOT [high occupancy toll] lanes to Stafford County.”
Connaughton mentioned that next year the Route 1 redevelopment project would be fully funded, something Senator Toddy Puller (D-36) lauded.
“This project will help people get home to their families while they’re not in a bad mood,” Puller joked.
Occoquan Supervisor Mike May (R) congratulated VDOT for completing the fourth lane project with little disruption to traffic, a point that was echoed by Springfield Supervisor Jeff McKay, representing Fairfax County Board Chairman Sharon Bulova.
“We are on the cusp of something great for BRAC, that’s the type of economic growth Springfield needs but we need to make sure the people can get there,” said McKay.
Senator George Barker (D-39), Senator Dick Saslaw (D-35), Occoquan Mayor Ernie Porta, Supervisors Frank Principi (D-Woodbridge), John Jenkins (D-Neabsco), Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity and VDOT project manager Maria Sinner joined in on the ribbon cutting ceremony.