Interstate 195 in Virginia

Interstate 195 in Virginia is the 3.5-mile-long Beltline Expressway in the City of Richmond. It runs from the I-64/I-95/I-195 Bryan Park Interchange to McCloy Street and Idlewood Avenue and the Downtown Expressway Interchange. The name Beltline Expressway was the planning name for the highway and it is rarely used now although public radio traffic reporters sometimes use the term "195 Beltline".

The terrain I-195 crosses is mostly flat as it passes through the western part of Richmond. I-195 serves as an expressway spur from I-95 and I-64 in the northern part of Richmond to the Powhite Parkway (whose northern limit is just south of Cary Street in Richmond) and the southwestern part of the city. I-195 also serves as an expressway spur to the Downtown Expressway, and in a larger sense, I-195 is part of the inner loop expressway around the downtown and near western part of the city.

I-195 has 6 lanes from I-95/I-64 to the Powhite Parkway, and 4 lanes on the connector from the Beltline Expressway to the Downtown Expressway. The 3.0-mile section from I-95/I-64 to Powhite Parkway was opened in 2 sections on July 15 and 19, 1975, and the 0.5-mile connector to the Downtown Expressway was opened on February 3, 1976. The I-195 connector to the Powhite Parkway was built with 4 lanes, and it was widened to 6 lanes in 1988 when the rest of Powhite was widened. The connection from I-195 to Powhite is a change of route designation and administration, but it is actually a continuous 6-lane expressway. The whole huge three-way separated interchange complex between I-195, Powhite Parkway, and the Downtown Expressway is designed to provide a through expressway on all three legs, and its original name was the Stadium Interchange since the University of Richmond Stadium (formerly City Stadium when the expressways opened) is inside of the complex.

The Powhite Parkway and the Downtown Expressway in the city of Richmond are tollroads administered by the Richmond Metropolitan Authority (RMA), which is a small state agency with a board of directors from the city. RMA was established to plan, design, fund, build and operate the city's toll expressways.

VDOT 1997 traffic volume data follows. Figures are published rounded to the nearest 100. Traffic volumes on I-195 are 42,000 AADT on the connector from the Beltline Expressway to the Downtown Expressway, and 86,000 to 94,000 on the section from I-95/I-64 to Powhite Parkway. I-195 carries 9% large trucks.

I have more information about I-195 here: I-195 Beltline Expressway. See Kurumi's Kurumi: Interstate 195 for I-195 in Virginia.

Lead article Interstate Highway System in Virginia

Copyright 2000-2003 by Scott Kozel. All rights reserved. Reproduction, reuse, or distribution without permission is prohibited.

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By Scott M. Kozel, Roads to the Future

(Created 5-30-2000, updated 12-21-2003)