Shifting websites is something that needs to be done carefully. It is only done when you have the potential of reaching a larger viewer base. That is the story of WVDOT Automotive.
With hundreds of articles detailing everything to know about vehicles, we weighed the pros and cons and decided to buy VaMegaProjects.com.
The website owners shifted to a new domain name and stopped renewing the old one, which made it possible for us to acquire it.
They have shifted to virginiadot.org. As we, at WVDOT and Virginia Megaprojects, have been part of the same industry, we felt that we would be more reachable with this domain name via Google.
What Was The Virginia Megaprojects?
The Virginia Megaprojects was collaboration between the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Railway Department to ease congestion, which has been long complained about by the state’s people.
There were many different proposals, but only a few were accepted and were set in motion.
- I-495 HOT Lanes
- I-95 HOV/HOT Lanes
- Dulles Corridor Metro Rail Project
- I-95 Telegraph Road Interchange
- I-95 Widening
All of these were designed to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. This was achieved by adding new lanes, also called HOT lanes.
They would allow carpoolers to travel to and from their destinations safely.
The inclusion of more trains and platforms helped cater to the high demand for public transport. There were also inclusions such as replacing old infrastructure with a new one, so they could handle higher traffic count in the distant future.
The Virginia Megaprojects was a success and reduced bottlenecks greatly. It was expertly implemented, and it helped the locals a lot.
I-495 HOT Lanes
The locals greatly anticipated this project. The plan was to create four HOT lanes, two for each side. They would stretch from Capital Beltway to Springfield Interchange. These are located just 14 miles beyond the infamous Dulles Toll Road.
So, why are these lanes being constructed? Well, they will be an extension of the current highway lines, so traffic flow can be better. These HOT lanes will establish an HOV-3 connection with the I-95 and the I-66 lanes for the first time.
After all of the lanes have been established, vehicles with three or more people will be able to ride in these designated HOT lanes without any cost. This included buses, carpools, and even motorcycles. Vehicles with two people will need to pay to enter these HOT lanes.
This project is not only about adding new lanes to existing highways. It has also been planned to replace some existing 45-year old infrastructure. This includes 50 bridges and ten interchanges. This will help breathe new life into the infrastructure of the area.
There is an expectance of lane-closing while the project is in process. These lane closures will only be implemented in non-rush hour time periods. All of the closures will be informed about in advance.
I-95/395 HOT Lanes
The already-in-progress 56-mile HOT system will be stretched to add another lane that will be present between Arlington and Dumfries. This project also includes the construction of two HOV lanes, which will stop at Spotsylvania County.
These HOT lanes are perfect for buses and carpools. If a vehicle has one or two people, they will need to pay a small fee to access these low-traffic HOT lanes. They will not have to worry about traffic and will not have to pay any fee to access these lanes. The same goes for motorcycles too.
This project has side benefits too. It will build thousands of Park and Ride lot spaces, which will allow people to park their vehicles safely. It will also provide access and exit points for major activity centers. These I-95 HOT lanes will also provide a better response time when talking about law enforcement and ambulances.
As the project is in its early stages, there is no current plan for lane closures in the environment review phase.
But it is expected that there will be no lane closures during rush hours and on weekends. This will ensure that the construction will not restrict too much traffic.
The Dulles Metrorail project is a brand new 23-mile railway track that extends the existing Orange Line at the Easts Fall Church Station and touches Route 722 in Loudoun County. This project is being performed in phases to make sure that there is minimal effect on traffic.
Phase 1 comprises constructing an 11.7-mile railway track due for completion in July 2013. It will help extend the rail service from the East Falls Church to four new stations in Tyson Corner, one at Wiehle Avenue, which is one the eastern edge of Reston.
The second phase will comprise constructing the remaining 11.5 miles of the track, extending from Wiehle Avenue to Route 772, which ends in Ashburn. Phase 2 has many major station constructions planned.
These stations will be present in the pathway between Wiehle Avenue and Ashburn. They will be present at Reston Town Center, Herndon, Dulles Airport, and finally, the eastern Loudoun County.
These phases will provide people with a one-seat ride from Washington DC to Dulles Airport. These seats are not transferred, so there will be no seat change during the travel.
After completing the project, there will be several major improvements that will help people, such as providing employees and employers with access to the entirety of the metro region.
This track will provide a quick alternative to automobile travel, which will help cut down on pollution. It will also allow residents to visit shopping and entertainment centers without hassle.
I-95 Telegraph Road
The Telegraph Road project has been designed to reconstruct the entire Telegraph Road. This reconstruction is the final phase of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project. The Telegraph Road project has three different goals, all of which will be achieved during the estimated five years of this project.
The first half of this project consists of stretching or widening a section of the Capital Beltway. This two-and-a-half-mile section contains the new THRU and LOCAL lanes, which will be extended.
The second half is to build new ramps on the road between Beltway and Telegraph Road. These ramps will allow for better traffic flow and prevent people from over speeding.
Lane closures may be possible during the duration of this project. These closures will occur between 9:30 pm, and 5:00 am, ensuring that they will not affect rush-hour traffic.
Lane closures will not take place during the weekends or holidays. This will ensure that people will be able to get to their destinations without any hassle.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has decided to add another lane to the three-lane six-mile stretch of the I-95, which extends from Fairfax County Parkway to Route 123.
This decision was taken after considering the traffic, which can get quite congested. The addition of this lane will ensure that more vehicles will be able to move freely from the newly established Springfield Interchange.
How can this project be beneficial for the people? The I-95 has to carry 212000 vehicles daily between Route 123 and Fairfax County Parkway. There have been several reports of bottlenecks. The fourth row will reduce the chance of that and allow for the constant traffic flow.
Lane closures will be included with the project, with them being in the middle of the day. These closures will not be implemented in peak traffic times. There will be occasional night lane closures too. Northbound closures will be present for six hours, from 9:30 am to 3:30 PM, from Monday to Thursday.
The time will be shortened on Fridays, till noon only. Southbound closures will be implemented from 8 am to 2 pm, with the number dropping to 11 am on Fridays. Weekends and holidays will not be subject to such lane closures.
Fairfax County Parkway/BRAC
This project extends the Fairfax County Parkway project and aims to develop the remaining 2 miles of the 4-lane Fairfax County Parkway. It has an interchange at the Engineer Proving Ground too.
This project has an estimated cost of $117 million. This includes the first two phases, carried out from fall 2018 to late 2010. The next two phases are being funded by ARRA, commonly known as the American Restoration and Recovery Act.
They have accepted Phase 4, but Phase 3 is still being discussed. The contract is expected to be signed at the end of this year.
The project is important because the U.S Army wants to move around 12,900 personnel to Fort Belvoir. The relocation of this personnel will put an additional toll on the existing roads, with the addition of thousands of new vehicles.
They will also be moving 6400 additional ones to the Mark Center, which is present in Alexandria. All of this is a part of the Base Realignment and Closure, commonly known as BRAC. The BRAC project will help in creating more than 43000 job opportunities.
On to the benefits of this project, the Fairfax County Parkway extension will help cater to the increased traffic.
After completing the first two phases of the project, which is expected to be in 2010, drivers will finally have a direct route through the Engineer Proving Ground.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is funding this project, and it will also keep maintaining the road after the construction has been completed.
The Federal Highway Administration is reviewing the plan, and when it is complete, the U.S Army will be providing a path for construction alongside the Engineer Proving Ground.
As for lane closures, the regular schedule will be followed, with no closures expected between rush hour traffic and on weekends and holidays. Lanes will be closed from 5:30 am to 9 PM and 3:30 PM to 9 PM on weekdays.
No communities and businesses will be affected by these lane closures as they will still be accessible.
Other Regional Projects
The Megaprojects discussed above are just the tip of the iceberg. Many other improvements will soon be set in motion or are already in motion in Northern Virginia. This section will discuss all other plans for the future, which will hopefully be carried out promptly.
The I-66 path is being widened to accommodate two more lanes. They are bi-directional and will connect the Route 34 bypass to Route 29 in Gainesville. The project will also be establishing more ramps along the Route 29 interchange. The project is expected to finish in August of 2010.
Projects under Consideration
Although this solely depends on funding, many other projects are being considered, which will help ease traffic flow while also ensuring that drivers will have a quick path to their destinations.
Lee Highway And Gallows Road
This intersection is one of the more congested ones in Merrifield. Bottlenecks have less chance of occurrence. The project has already begun, and many utilities have to be transferred before the project properly started in 2011.
The estimated completion time of the project is two years, until 2013. The new intersection will feature turn and through lanes that have been expanded for a continuous traffic flow.
There is also the inclusion of pedestrian-friendly additions, which will help all the people walking on foot reach their destinations safely.
The project will also relocate the water main while upgrading the water facilities owned and operated by Fairfax Water and the City of Falls Church.
The new water main will be constructed alongside Gallows Road, on Route 29. The second water main will be installed for the City of Falls Church, again on the same route.
This second half of the project aims to replace all the old infrastructure, which may have very well reached the point of breaking and cracking. If anything like this happens, severe consequences will have to be dealt with, including detours and cutoff of water supply.
Gainsville Area Improvements
This area is yet another one that is subject to frequent bottlenecks. Present in Prince William County, this area will be improved by redesigning the interchange completely. The project’s main goal is to lift Route 29 over the existing rail tracks. There will also be the construction of new ramps at the I-66 interchange.
There is also a plan to add a separate lane from I-66 to Virginia Oaks on Route 29. The expected period of the project is four years, with construction beginning in 2010 and ending in 2014.
This project is expected to reduce traffic congestion and will also help in improving the overall flow of traffic from the I-66 to Virginia Oaks Drive. Two traffic signals will be taken down, so a constant flow will be maintained.
I-66 Westbound Spot Improvements
Another design and planning process has begun for Arlington County, where the I-66 westbound on and off-ramps will be extended. This will be from Route 29 to Glebe Road.
The project has not yet begun due to no funding being granted for construction. Talks are underway, and hopefully, a settlement will be reached.
The extension will also take place from Fairfax Drive to Sycamore Street and from Washington Boulevard to the Dulles Connector. These are being funded, and the project completion date is being set.
As informed before, the project is only in the engineering phase, where decisions are being made as to what changes will be implemented. There are three spots to be improved, which are present on westbound I-66, inside the Capital Beltway.
These specific spots were chosen because they were the most congested ones. This was found out during two studies, the first one taking place from 2004 to 2005. The second one was a traffic study and was carried out in 2006.
I-66 Pavement Rehabilitation
This project aims to replace 1000 feet of concrete feet of westbound I-66. This will be implemented on all four lanes, and a small portion of the ramp that goes towards Route 50 in Fairfax County is also included.
Three different replacement techniques will be implemented to ensure a fast and high quality of work. The first one is the traditional cast design. The second one involves using precast panels, which is highly effective. The final one is a pre-car and post-tensioned system.
This project will focus more on both of the precast systems. They will also serve as a demonstration for the Highways for Life program, which the Federal Highway Administration sponsors. The showcase is planned for September of this calendar year.
The project is being carried out day and night, with crews working overnight from Sundays to Thursdays. There will be lane closures, and traffic can be reduced to one lane only during nighttime.
The two westbound lanes will be closed at 9 PM, and the third one will be closed by 10 PM. All of them will be reopened by 5 AM.
There is also an expected ramp closure from westbound I-66 from 10 to 5 am. There will be signs to guide vehicles towards the Fairfax County Parkway.
VRE Capital Improvements
The Virginia Railway Express is in talks with the Virginia Department of Transportation to construct a second platform at the Woodbridge Station. To be precise, it is also adding five new trains or locomotives to its ever-growing fleet.
This second platform is aimed to be established by December 2009. The platform will be linked directly with a parking garage and an overhead pedestrian bridge that spans more than 142 feet. It will ensure easy access to the trains.
The platform will also be beneficial because it will allow for the use of another track. Even if a train is not on schedule on one track, the second one is highly likely to be on time.
So, the passengers can opt for that train instead and safely reach it using the pedestrian bridge. The platform spans 600 feet and is present on the west side of the tracks. It can be directly accessed from Route 1 via a kiss and ride entrance, which does not have a set date.
There are various commuter solutions available in West Virginia, which will reduce the cost of traveling and make the experience much more fun. Carpooling is the most common one out of them all. The Commuter Connections Network will help you find a carpool or a vanpool, whichever you deem suitable.
Teleworking is another famous job opportunity. People can work from home and don’t have to worry about anything such as traveling long routes.
Even if they have to travel, it will be from their bed to their desk. Teleworking can be done two days a week. This will not only reduce the time that is spent in traffic but can reduce stress too!
Other commuter solutions include using the bus or the train, a park and ride, and simply walking. There are designated HOT and HOV lanes for such commuters. They can reach their destinations without any hassle. Car sharing can also be done and can cut costs dramatically.
Everybody knows that training and grooming employees are important for a business to succeed. This is a difficult task during the Virginia Megaprojects construction phase.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has established a partnership with the Department of Rail and Public Transportation to help affected employers. The extensive employer solution program will allow new services to help employees come to and from work without difficulties.
There are incentive programs too, which will help businesses run with minimal impact. The Smart Benefits program will reduce the cost of vanpool fares by a half, which is economical and viable. Employers will be granted $50000 to establish a Telework program.
Where To Contact Virginia Department Of Transportation
As the Virginia Department of Transportation has shifted to a new domain name, many readers may want to find out how to contact them.
They can be found at:
Contact us – Info | Virginia Department of Transportation (virginiadot.org)
This page lists down all of the different ways that can be used to contact the Virginia Department of Transportation. They have offered options such as an online feedback form, work requests, etc.