GWRideConnect NEWS

Stafford Diverging Diamond Now Open

Watch a simulation video here to experience a traveler’s windshield view and an aerial view.


The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will open the new diverging diamond interchange over Interstate 95 at Exit 140 (Courthouse Road) in Stafford County on Saturday, Dec. 7.


The interchange opening is a major milestone in the $195 million project to expand capacity and improve travel in Stafford County’s Courthouse Road area.


Diverging Diamond Interchanges (DDIs) lower the number of conflict points between vehicles by eliminating left turns. The new interchange briefly shifts vehicles on Courthouse Road to the other side of the road on new overpass bridges, which allows drivers to merge left onto the I-95 northbound and southbound ramps without stopping at a traffic signal.


On Saturday, Dec. 7, crews will open the new interchange to traffic, with assistance from Virginia State Police and local law enforcement. Opening the interchange early Saturday will allow crews to take advantage of lighter traffic volumes.


In addition to the interchange opening on Dec. 7, motorists can expect:

• On eastbound Courthouse Road, all three travel lanes will open in the diverging diamond interchange
• At Route 1, a new four-lane Hospital Center Boulevard extension will open west of Route 1 and connect directly to the diverging diamond interchange on Courthouse Road through a new Wyche Road intersection
• On westbound Courthouse Road, all three travel lanes will open in the diverging diamond interchange, but the road will narrow to two westbound travel lanes just before Austin Ridge Drive
• Courthouse Road west of Austin Ridge Drive will remain reduced to one lane in each direction until late December 2019, when all four lanes will open between the I-95 interchange and Ramoth Church Road/Winding Creek Road


I-95 Southbound Exit Ramp Detour

On December 7, three of the new Exit 140 interchange ramps will open, but the I-95 southbound exit ramp to Courthouse Road will remain in a detour pattern until late December 2019.


Click here to view a map of the detour.


Motorists traveling from I-95 southbound to Courthouse Road should follow the posted detour signs to access the new Courthouse Road.

Traffic will be detoured for several weeks to allow crews to build the new exit ramp and raise its elevation to match the height of the new diverging diamond interchange and I-95 overpass bridges. Courthouse Road traffic is currently traveling in the location where this construction work must occur, once the ramp is detoured on December 7.


What Motorists Can Expect

Message boards will be posted beginning the week of December 2 on I-95, Route 1, Courthouse Road and other connecting roads to alert travelers to the Dec. 7 interchange opening.


Numerous signs and pavement markings will guide drivers through the diverging diamond interchange.


All work has been scheduled weather permitting. For real-time updates on lane closures and the opening of the diverging diamond interchange:

• Check 511virginia.org or call 511 from any phone in Virginia
• Visit the project page at www.virginiadot.org/exit140
• See news releases in the VDOT Fredericksburg District online newsroom
• Follow VDOT Fredericksburg District on Twitter @VaDOTFRED
• Join the VDOT Fredericksburg District Facebook group page


Community Meeting on Diverging Diamond Interchange on Monday, Dec. 2.

The public is invited to attend a community meeting on Monday, Dec. 2 at Colonial Forge High School to learn more about diverging diamond interchanges and the Exit 140 project.


VDOT staff will deliver a brief presentation, and attendees can watch a simulation video and participate in a walk-through DDI exhibit with signs and pavement markings similar to the Courthouse Road interchange.


The meeting will be held:

Monday, Dec. 2
5-7 p.m.*
Colonial Forge High School
550 Courthouse Road
Stafford, VA 22554
*A brief presentation will be delivered at 5:30 p.m.

VDOT staff will be available to answer questions throughout the meeting.


Project Background

Construction on the Exit 140 interchange and Courthouse Road widening project began in July 2017. All work will be finished by July 31, 2020.


After the new four-lane portion of Courthouse Road opens to traffic west of Austin Ridge Drive in late December 2019, construction crews will focus on finishing the following project elements in 2020:

• Expanded Park & Ride commuter parking at Exit 140: New Park & Ride lots are under construction north and south of the future Old Courthouse Road. Together, the lots will offer around 1,100 parking spaces. The southern lot will have a dedicated pickup and dropoff area for buses, carpools, and vanpools.

• New sidewalk and shared use path: Crews will continue building new sidewalk from the Park & Ride lots east along Old Courthouse Road to the Stafford County Government Center, and a shared use path from Austin Ridge Drive to the Park & Ride lots through the interchange. A new, shared use path from Winding Creek Elementary School near the Ramoth Church Road/Winding Creek Road intersection to west of Austin Ridge Drive will open on Dec. 7.

Courthouse Road carries an average of 16,000 vehicles a day and around 136,000 vehicles a day travel on I-95 near Exit 140.

To learn more on this project, please visit the project page at www.VirginiaDOT.org/Exit140 and VDOT’s innovative intersections and interchanges page on diverging diamond interchanges (DDI).



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.

395 HOT Lanes Open November 17

The opening of the 395 express lanes was pushed back to Sunday, November 17th. Any updates to the opening date will be added to our website, so keep checking back!


Coming to you this November 17, the 395 Express Lanes will offer the same quick, simple and predictable travel you’ve come to know from the 495 and 95 Express Lanes. They’ll pick up where the 95 Express Lanes leave off around Edsall Road and run up to the 14th Street Bridge in D.C. A new choice for your everyday travels is coming soon.


The 395 Express Lanes are coming this November

The I-395 HOV lanes will become Express Lanes in November. Thanks to the 95 Express Lanes, most HOV customers along the I-95/I-395 corridor are familiar with how to use Express Lanes and already have an E-ZPass® Flex. (And, they know how great it is to ride toll-free.)

· The 395 Express Lanes will extend 8 miles from near Edsall Road in Fairfax County to the 14th Street Bridge near Washington D.C.

· Just like the 95 and 495 Express Lanes, the 395 Express Lanes will use dynamic tolls and be free for HOV-3+ vehicles with an E-ZPass® Flex set to “HOV ON.” The rules will apply 24/7.

· The Seminary Road south ramp will remain HOV-only at all times.


Drop off carpool passengers near the Pentagon or Pentagon City?

To avoid disruptions to carpooling in the I-395 corridor and give commuters another great reason to try HOV-3 travel, carpooler drivers will go free to DC, even if they drop off their passengers on Eads Street. Here’s how it will work:

1. A driver carpools on the northbound 395 Express Lanes with their Flex in HOV Mode and exits the Lanes at Eads Street to drop off passengers at the Pentagon or Pentagon City.

2. The driver then sets the Flex to toll mode and gets back on the northbound Lanes from Eads Street.

3. Since the technology on the Lanes will know the vehicle was just carpooling a short time earlier, the driver won’t be charged a toll for the last part of their trip.

Drivers should put their Flex in toll mode to avoid getting pulled over by Virginia State Police troopers who will enforce for cheaters.


Carpoolers and vanpoolers who don’t have an E-ZPass® Flex should get one.

The E-ZPass® Flex is available at select DMV locations, retailers and online. Head over to the Virginia E-ZPass® website at www.EZPassVA.com.


395 Express Lanes: Slugs, and drivers, are free to DC

The 395 Express Lanes will open this November and the project team has announced a perk to keep slugging strong on I-395.

When the 395 Express Lanes open, drivers who carpool up to Eads Street and exit the Lanes to drop off sluggers will be able to get back on the Lanes for free – but other drivers who first get on the Lanes here will pay a toll. (Of course, if you carpool the entire trip into DC, it’s free as well.)

That’s right, drivers who take sluggers to Eads Street get to go free for the rest of the trip.


How will it work?

1. Carpool up the northbound 395 Express Lanes with your Flex in HOV mode, just like normal.

2. Get off at Eads Street to drop off slugs at the Pentagon or Pentagon City. (Or keep carpooling into DC.)

3. Switch your Flex to “HOV off” — since you don’t have 3 people in the car anymore — before you get back on the northbound Lanes from Eads Street. That way you don’t risk getting pulled over by Virginia State Police troopers who are looking for real cheaters.

4. Even though your Flex will be set to “HOV off,” the operators will know you carpooled to Eads Street. You won’t be charged to finish your trip to the city. Pretty great, right?


But what if I forget to flip the switch back?

A sign on the ramp to get back on the Lanes will remind you to flip the switch. And, the operator of Lanes is giving Virginia State Police tools to help to validate the earlier part of your trip, just in case you forget to switch and get pulled over.

It’s that easy – a flip of the switch and you go free to DC.

If you don’t have an E-ZPass Flex yet, visit EZPassVA.com.