|Springfield Interchange Project|
The Springfield Interchange Improvement Project involved reconstructing what
is actually two interchanges:
The 8-year, 7-phase construction of the Springfield Interchange Improvement Project began its major construction in March 1999 and was completed in July 2007. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) was the administrator of the planning, design, right-of-way acquisition and construction. HNTB Corporation designed the interchange and Dewberry Davis and Bechtel Corporation provided engineering services. Construction contractors included Shirley Contracting Company, Lane Construction Corporation and Archer Western Contractors. The total cost of the Springfield Interchange Project was $676 million for design, right-of-way acquisition, construction, project management, and congestion management.
The Springfield Interchange is in Fairfax County, Virginia, 10 miles from Washington, D.C. A daily average of about 430,000 vehicles pass through the Springfield Interchange, where I-95, I-395 and I-495 come together. During a two-year study in the late 1990s, the interchange logged 179 accidents, making it the most accident-prone section on the 64-mile Capital Beltway. To improve traffic flow, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) rebuilt the interchange to make it safer for commuters and long-distance travelers. This improvement project took 8 years to complete. The project consisted of building more than 50 bridges and widening I-95 to 24 lanes between the Beltway and Franconia Road. The new and improved interchange allows for future growth. Traffic volumes will increase to about 500,000 vehicles per day by 2020. The new interchange allows that traffic to move safely, quickly and easily. Through-traffic is separated from local traffic. Signs direct motorists to the appropriate lanes before they reach the interchange.
The construction was staged over 8 years to make the project more affordable, lessening the amount of annual expenditures during the construction period; also to lessen the amount of construction that is underway at any one time, thereby making maintenance of traffic easier. While this is two interchanges and approaches, it is a vast area and such construction staging was possible without overlapping stages getting in the way of each other, and the sections of the project could open in stages, each providing benefits to the traveling public. The reconstructed I-95/VA-644 interchange was completed in November 2001, the direct through roadway connection for I-95 southbound traffic opened in May 2004, and the remainder of the I-95/I-395/I-495 interchange and express/local roadways on I-95 was opened in stages from 2005 to July 2007.
The Springfield Interchange Improvement Project limits of construction on the Capital Beltway were almost 2 miles on either side of Shirley Highway. The limits of construction on Shirley Highway were almost a mile north of the Beltway, and were over 1&1/2 miles south of the Beltway. The total cost of the Springfield Interchange Project was $676 million.
Local road construction included over a mile of 8- and 10-lane widening on VA-644 in the I-95 area, and over a mile of 4- and 6-lane widening on Commerce Street and Loisdale Road in the same vicinity. Included was the replacement of the 2-lane Commerce Street viaduct over I-95, with a modern 4-lane divided bridge with sidewalks on either side for pedestrians and bicycles. The expansion of VA-644 Franconia Road near the Springfield Mall included elevated 2-lane each way express roadways with the grade separation of two intersections, that over Loisdale Road and Frontier Drive, with outer local 3-lane each way VA-644 roadways intersecting the cross streets at grade.
Here is a VDOT before and afterrendering of the I-95/I-395/I-495 interchange.
This image is Page 596 of A Policy on Geometric Design of Rural Highways, also commonly known as the "AASHO Blue Book", by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO), published in 1965.
Click for larger map images:Medium (46K), Large (123K), Extra Large (171K). Use "Back" button to return.
The above image depicts the Springfield Interchange as originally constructed in 1964. The Beltway is up-down (east is up), and Shirley Highway is left-right (north is left). When built, the Beltway had 4 lanes (2 each way) to the west of the junction, and 6 lanes (3 each way) to the east of the junction; and Shirley Highway was still in its original 4-lane (2 each way) configuration. Shirley Highway was rebuilt in this area to a 3-2-3 lane configuration in 1966-1968, with ramp terminal adjustments in this interchange.
The 22 miles of Capital Beltway in Virginia between VA-193 Georgetown Pike and US-1 Jefferson Davis Highway, was widened to 8 lanes (4 each way) in 1974-1977, and this project included ramp terminal adjustments in the Springfield Interchange and several major bridge replacements; and the semi-directional ramp from I-95 northbound to I-495 westbound, was replaced by the large 2-lane 35-mph loop ramp which can be seen in the VDOT "before" image on the link above. The major advantage of that large loop ramp was that it separated the exit points to both directions of I-495 by about 1/3 mile, whereas formerly all traffic from I-95 northbound to both directions of I-495 exited at one point, which was problematic given the huge volume of traffic exiting to I-495.
The 8-year, 7-phase construction of the Springfield Interchange Improvement Project began in March 1999 and was completed on schedule in July 2007.
Project Construction Phasing
Phase 1, a $2.8 million I-95 southbound 4th lane to the south of Springfield, was completed in 1996. Springfield Mall Drive Ramps were completed in June 1998 at a cost of $2.04 million. Beltway Ramp Improvements were completed in October 1999 at a cost of $0.89 million.
Phase 2 and Phase 3 were placed under construction on April 5, 1999, and in November 2001, the reconstruction was completed on the I-95/VA-644 interchange, the widening of VA-644, Commerce Street and Loisdale Road; and new roadways for I-95 through this interchange. These two phases had a construction cost of $133 million. The contracts had a large incentive/disincentive clause, and the prime contractor, Shirley Contracting Company, finished well ahead of the required completion date of June 2002.
Completion of the first three phases provided for considerably better traffic flow on I-95, VA-644 and on local roads in the Springfield area.
Phase 4was placed under construction in November 2000, and was completed in October 2004 at a cost of $178.5 million. Phase 5 was placed under construction in August of 2001, and was completed in May 2004 at a cost of $95.5 million.
Phase 4 involved these three major portions: constructing the I-95 southbound roadway from Capital Beltway to Franconia-Springfield Parkway, constructing a 4,800-foot-long flyover bridge for traffic heading west on I-495 to I-95 south (the I-95 southbound through route), and widening the Capital Beltway from I-395 east to Van Dorn Street.
Phase 5 involved widening the outer loop of the Beltway west of I-95, slightly relocating the outer loop of the Beltway in the I-95 interchange area, and realignment of the ramp from I-395 southbound to I-495 westbound, and widening the Capital Beltway from I-395 westward to Braddock Road.
Phases 4 and 5 were constructed concurrently. Shirley Contracting Company was the prime contractor on Phase 4, and Lane Construction Corporation was the prime contractor on Phase 5. The completed result is the high-speed 2-lane continuous movement for southbound I-95 through traffic flowing from the Beltway to Shirley Highway; the relegation of the original semi-directional ramp that handled that I-95 movement, to serving local traffic heading to exiting at the I-95/VA-644 interchange; plus completion of much of the construction on portions of the Beltway and Shirley Highway that are part of this project but out of the immediate I-95/I-395/I-495 interchange area.
4,800-foot-long bridge for traffic heading west on I-495 to I-95 south.
A new flyover was built for through-traffic heading south on I-95. It fixes delays caused by traffic exiting the Beltway onto I-95 south. The bridge is 120 feet high at the center. (Diagram from VDOT).
The new 2-lane southbound I-95 flyover ramp from the Beltway Inner Loop to I-95 south (the I-95 southbound through route), was completed and opened to traffic on May 19, 2004.
VDOT Sets Wednesday,
May 19 to Open New I-495 West, Inner-Loop Bridge to I-95 South,
Springfield Interchange Improvement
Project news release, May 10, 2004. (excerpts in blue text):
Perhaps the most significant milestone in the seven-year Springfield Interchange Improvement Project will occur on Wednesday afternoon, May 19, when the new I-95 south bridge from the Capital Beltway, I-495, inner-loop, will open to traffic. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. to mark the occasion. The new mile-long bridge, rising more than 100 feet over the Mixing Bowl, will significantly improve safety in the Springfield interchange area where I-95/395 and 495 converge by eliminating the weaving and merging that occurs where the Beltway meets 95 south. Reducing traffic entering into the Mixing Bowl area will help reduce congestion for other motorists heading to I-95 south from Washington, via I-395 south, and from the beltway's outer-loop from Tysons Corner. The two-lane bridge, with two additional emergency shoulder lanes, will take long-distance motorists over the Mixing Bowl and directly onto the I-95 south lanes below the interchange. More than 20 percent of the daily inner-loop traffic is expected to ride the new bridge.
Within two days following the opening of the new bridge, motorists heading to I-95 south from the outer-loop on I-495 will gain a second temporary ramp lane that will ease the flow of traffic off of the outer-loop to I-95 south. This is a temporary improvement, as outer-loop motorists heading to I-95 south and to Route 644 (Springfield/Franconia) will each have their own separate ramps that will be constructed later in the project.
VDOT News Release on May 17, 2004 had similar points to the above news release,
and included (in blue text):
The [new I-95 SB flyover] bridge cost approximately $31 million. About 20,000 vehicles a day are expected to use the bridge, 2,200 of them during the busiest hour. The bridge will significantly improve safety by eliminating the weaving and merging motorists now experience where I-95/395 and the Capital Beltway converge. The flyover bridge has extra-wide emergency shoulders, ranging from 12 to 20 feet, on either side of two 12-foot travel lanes.
This is the express movement from the Beltway Inner Loop to Shirley Highway for I-95 southbound. The existing ramp for that movement remains, and it is relegated to carrying the local traffic from the Beltway Inner Loop to the VA-644 interchange at Springfield. The new flyover ramp provides a vast improvement, since all the local traffic on the Inner Loop heading to VA-644 at Springfield, is on the original ramp, and the new 2-lane flyover ramp with a 60-mph design speed completely bypasses the I-95 southbound weave sections at Springfield. The movement from the Beltway Outer Loop (from Tysons Corner) to I-95 southbound also benefits from this flyover ramp opening, with reduced congestion, as its merge with I-95 southbound no longer has to contend with the I-95 traffic from the Beltway Inner Loop (from Woodrow Wilson Bridge).
Photos of driving the new 2-lane southbound
I-95 flyover ramp from the Beltway Inner Loop to I-95 south (the I-95 southbound through route), are here:
Springfield Interchange Project Photos - October 2005 - 18 photos
Phase 6 and Phase 7 mainly focused on the remainder of the I-95/I-395/I-495 interchange, mainly the elevated ramps, but also included the remainder of the northbound I-95 roadway south of I-495. Phases 6 and 7 were constructed in one contract, was advertised for bids by VDOT on June 24, 2003, the bids were opened on September 3, 2003, the Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded the $99.8 million contract on September 17, 2003, to Archer Western Contractors Ltd., and contract completion occurred on July 17, 2007. VDOT's Six-Year Program budgeted cost for this contract was $123 million, which included the award amount plus contingencies and construction engineering, and the award amount was slightly under budget, which was good news for the project. The contract's Un-audited Final Cost (as of the below snapshot of the VDOT Dashboard) is $106,671,701.
received on Phases 6 & 7. (source - VDOT):
Bids opened September 3, 2003
Project No. 0095-029-F20,C505,B609,B611,B612,B614-19,B621,B622,B625-27,D681
|Archer Western Contractors, Ltd.||$99,829,025.00|
|Shirley Contracting Co., LLC||$104,692,985.43|
|AMEC Civil, LLC||$106,950,559.45|
|The Lane Construction Corp.||$116,966,754.00|
VDOT Dashboard has the
completion details for this project, here is a copy from September 15, 2007 below, from the
UPC - 14680
Contract ID - A00014680C05
State Project # - 0095029F20
Description - I95/I395/I495 Interchange
Route - 95
Construction Company - Archer Western Contractors, LTD.
Contract Award Amount - $99,829,000
Un-audited Final Cost - $106,671,701
Current Contract Amount - $103,527,522
6.9% Over Original Contract Award Amount
Contractor's Notice to Proceed - October 18, 2003
Original Specified Completion Date - July 18, 2007
Current Specified Completion Date - July 18, 2007
Contract Acceptance Date - July 17, 2007
Days Charged To Date - 1369
Current Number of Days - 1370
Acceptance Date <= Original Completion Data
Previous VDOT Dashboard Snapshots of SIIP
Phase 6/7 --
SIIP Project Phase 6/7 - Dashboard Snapshots
The other elements of the entire Springfield Interchange Improvement Project, per the project's 2002 finance plan, with their estimated costs, are, Preliminary Engineering at $44.99 million, Congestion Management (Park-n-Ride spaces, HOV and transit additions) at $28.0 million; the Springfield Interchange Project Store at the Springfield Mall, $6.0 million over the life of the project; and Right-of-Way Acquisition at $71.1 million. Again, the total cost estimate for the entire Springfield Interchange Improvement Project, is $676.257 million. That is a lot of money, but is 90% funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) from federal aid from the U.S. Highway Trust Fund, and 10% by VDOT state funds; and the whole project provides a huge traffic improvement for the whole area where these highways junction.
The project originally had a Phase 8, but it was deferred from this project in 2001. It would provide ramp connections between the Shirley Highway HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes, and the inside of the Capital Beltway roadways. In the current setup, HOV traffic on Shirley Highway that is bound to/from the Beltway, has to use 1&1/2 mile of Shirley Highway general purpose lanes to connect to the Beltway. The necessary right-of-way was acquired, but Phase 8 was cut for cost reasons, as it is projected to cost about $80 million; and the official VDOT word is that Phase 8 has been transferred to the Capital Beltway Project, which is now in the alternatives analysis stage, evaluating various widening schemes that include HOV lanes. See Capital Beltway Study for the project website.
Scheduled major milestones, from the
Springfield Interchange Improvement Project website in January, 2004. Lane
widths from Roads to the Future review of the design plan documents. Actual opening and
completion dates in red.
è Fall 2004 -- Complete Phase 4 and Phase 5.
Completed in October 2004 and May 2004, respectively
è Fall 2004 -- Open 2-lane southbound I-95 flyover ramp from Beltway Inner Loop to I-95 south (the I-95 southbound through route).
Opened on May 19, 2004
è Late 2005 -- Open 1-lane flyover ramp from southbound I-395 onto Beltway Outer Loop (toward Wilson Bridge).
Opened on October 2, 2005
è Late 2005 -- Open 2-lane collector-distributor roadway carrying I-395 to I-95 at Springfield and Franconia via Route 644.
Opened on October 5, 2005 (one lane initially)
è Late 2005 -- Open 2-lane northbound I-95 flyover ramp from I-95 northbound to Beltway Outer Loop (the I-95 northbound through route, toward Wilson Bridge).
Opened on January 19, 2006
è Mid 2006 -- Open 3-lane northbound flyover ramp from I-95 northbound to Beltway Inner Loop (toward Tysons Corner).
Opened on August 24, 2006
è Summer 2007 -- Remaining portions of project Phase 6 and Phase 7 completed, completing the new Springfield Interchange.
Completed on July 17, 2007
The 1-lane flyover ramp from southbound I-395 onto the Beltway Outer Loop (toward Wilson Bridge), opened to traffic on October 2, 2005.
Springfield Interchange - New Ramp 395-South-to-95-North Opens Oct. 2, Springfield Interchange Improvement
Project news release, September 28, 2005. (excerpt in blue text):
The Virginia Department of Transportation will open a new bridge at the Springfield Interchange by 10 a.m. Sunday for motorists traveling from I-395 South to I-95 North towards the Wilson Bridge. The new bridge is one of 50 being constructed to eliminate weaving and merging and make it easier and safer for drivers to navigate the interchange. [...] The 16-foot wide [lane], one-lane bridge has two eight-foot shoulders and will carry about 450 vehicles an hour during peak hours and about 5,000 vehicles a day.
Springfield Interchange - C-D for 395 South and 495 West Exiting to I-95 Exit
169, Old Keene Mill/Franconia Roads, Begins Wednesday, Oct 5, Springfield Interchange Improvement
Project news release, September 28, 2005. (excerpt in blue text):
Wednesday, Oct 5, the Virginia Department of Transportation will open two new small approach bridges in the Springfield Interchange impacting motorists traveling from 395 South to Exit 169, Old Keene Mill Road/Franconia Road, Route 644 and motorists exiting off 495 west, (inner loop) Exit 169 heading to Old Keene Mill Road/Franconia Road. The new traffic pattern is the first part of the shift moving these motorists towards the right side of 95 south as they approach the Springfield/Franconia Road exit. 395 south motorists will enter the new traffic pattern south of Edsall Road and meet up with motorists coming off the inner loop also heading to the same location.
Recent Springfield Interchange Improvements Keep Project on Schedule for 2007
Completion, VDOT news release, October 6, 2005. (excerpt in blue text):
The Virginia Department of Transportation’s contractor for the last phase of the Springfield Interchange Improvement Project met two critical milestones this week that will help ensure that the entire project is completed in 2007 as scheduled. “With the opening of the new I-395 Southbound Bridge to the Outer Loop and the ramp improvements on I-95 South at the Beltway earlier this week, I am very encouraged that Archer Western Contractors is on track to deliver the final phase of the Mixing Bowl by mid-2007 as scheduled,” said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley. “We will continue to work very closely with Archer Western Contractors to make sure the next major milestone is achieved and that by June they will be back to the original schedule for completion.” The next major milestone is opening the I-95 North Bridge to the Outer Loop in December. Three months ago, the contractor had fallen behind schedule. Working closely with VDOT, the contractor committed to a recovery schedule with revised completion dates that would bring the project back on schedule by June 2006. The I-395 South Bridge to the Outer Loop that opened Oct. 2 is easing the trip for more than 4,000 motorists a day while the new ramps on I-95 South at the Beltway are reducing weaving and merging for approximately 75,000 vehicles a day.
The 2-lane northbound I-95 flyover ramp from I-95 northbound to the Beltway Outer Loop (the I-95 northbound through route, toward Wilson Bridge), opened to traffic on January 19, 2006.
I-95 North Bridge at Springfield Interchange Opens Thursday Morning, January
Interchange Improvement Project news release, January 18, 2006. (excerpt in blue text):
The $24 million flyover bridge is 80 feet tall, three-quarters of a mile long, and has extra-wide shoulders on either side of two 12-foot travel lanes. Overhead signs, beginning a mile in advance of the new bridge will direct I-95 motorists heading north towards Baltimore into the left lanes of I-95. The entrance to the new bridge is located about a half-mile prior to the exit motorists currently use. On a typical weekday morning between 6 and 9 a.m., the I-95 northbound lanes at Springfield carry about 30,000 vehicles. Of those vehicles, approximately 7,500 head toward the Wilson Bridge and the remainder head north on 395 toward D.C. or take the Inner Loop of the Beltway toward Tysons. About 113,000 vehicles travel north on 95 between Route 644 and the Beltway each day.
VDOT is on track to deliver the final phase of the Mixing Bowl by mid-2007 as scheduled. Last summer, Archer Western Contractors, the contractor for the final two phases of the project, failed to meet certain project milestones. Working closely with VDOT, Archer Western committed to a recovery schedule with revised completion dates that would put the project back on schedule by June 2006. The contractor met its October 2005 milestones which included the opening of a new flyover bridge from I-395 South to the Beltway's Outer Loop, and the initial separation of traffic heading south toward Springfield from those heading toward Richmond. This summer, the four-lane flyover bridge connecting I-95 North to the Inner Loop toward Tysons will open. In fall 2006, a major and final improvement occurs with the opening of a new bridge connecting I-495 South to I-95 South.
Photos of driving the new 2-lane northbound
I-95 flyover ramp from I-95 northbound to the Beltway Outer Loop (the I-95
northbound through route, toward Wilson Bridge), are here:
Springfield Interchange Project Photos - December 2006 - 37 photos
The 3-lane northbound flyover ramp from I-95 northbound to the Beltway Inner Loop (toward Tysons Corner), opened to traffic on August 24, 2006.
New Bridge Opens Thursday - I-395 North Bridge towards Tysons Corner,
Springfield Interchange Improvement Project news release, August 21, 2006.
(excerpt in blue text):
A major new bridge at the Springfield Interchange opens to traffic on Thursday, Aug. 24, in time for the morning rush. By 5 a.m. the Virginia Department of Transportation will open the new I-395 North Bridge for motorists heading towards Tysons Corner on the Inner Loop. I-95/395 North motorists heading to the Inner Loop (I-495 North) will continue to use the right two lanes to access the new bridge which is located about a half-mile prior to the existing exit. More than 1,800 vehicles per hour are expected to use the bridge between 6 and 9 a.m., and 2,200 are expected to use it between 3:30 and 6 p.m. Also on Thursday morning, motorists heading west on Franconia Road and heading to the Inner Loop/495 North will use the new ramp located off the Commerce Street Bridge. The existing entrance will continue to be open for a few more months. Approximately 1, 000 vehicles are expected to use the new ramp during the morning rush.
Photos of driving the new 3-lane northbound
flyover ramp from I-95 northbound to Beltway Inner Loop (toward Tysons
Corner), are here:
Springfield Interchange Project Photos - September 2006 - 18 photos
The 2-lane express southbound ramp from the Beltway Outer Loop to I-95 southbound (toward Richmond), opened to traffic on December 15, 2006.
New Ramp Opening: I-495 East (Outer Loop) to I-95 South, Springfield
Interchange Improvement Project news release, December 15, 2006. (excerpt in
The opening of the new ramp represents a major safety improvement separating local and long distance motorists doing away with the accident prone area where local and long distance motorists had to weave and merge. Traffic from the Outer Loop heading to I-95 South had to weave and merge to the left as local Springfield area traffic from the Washington, DC area, I-395 South, had to weave and merge to the right to exit.
The relocated portion of the 2-lane ramp from the Beltway Outer Loop to I-395 northbound (toward Washington), opened to traffic on March 15, 2007. This is a 2-lane semi-directional ramp that leaves from the right of the Outer Loop roadway, a relocation of part of the ramp to I-395 so that it will eliminate the pre-existing left-hand exit.
New Beltway Outer Loop Ramp to I-395 North Opens, Springfield
Interchange Improvement Project news release, March 10, 2007. (excerpt in
One of the final three ramps of the 50 new bridges and flyover ramps built over the past eight years to make the Springfield Interchange safer and easier to navigate, is set for opening to traffic by 5 a.m., Thursday morning, March 15, weather permitting, the Virginia Department of Transportation announced today. The new Beltway ramp will exit from the right lane rather than the current left lane, just past the I-95 South Richmond sign.
VDOT traffic counts show that
2,100 vehicles an hour use the Outer Loop exit to I-395 North during the
morning rush and about 1,900 per hour during the evening rush.
The $676 million improvement project remains on budget and on schedule for completion by the end of the year. “This marks one the last remaining ramps as we head towards completing the Springfield Interchange Improvement Project by early fall,” said Dennis Morrison, district administrator for VDOT in Northern Virginia.
The final new ramp will open this summer providing Franconia Road motorists heading onto I-395 North, towards Washington, with an easier and smoother entrance. Franconia Road motorists enter from the same ramp but will follow a new ramp lane leading under the Beltway directly onto I-395.
The Springfield Interchange Improvement Project was completed on July 17, 2007, as Phase 6/7 of the project was completed on that day.
VDOT Completes Springfield Interchange Improvement Project, Springfield Interchange Improvement Project news release, July 18, 2007. (excerpts in blue text):
Roads to the Future comments, that the project's Design Public Hearing brochure that was distributed to the public at the public hearing in 1997, gave the cost estimate as "320 million in 1997 dollars", at the time when the project's conceptual design had been completed. It was also stated that it was planned to be built over an 8-year timespan, so with normal cost inflation factors for heavy construction over those 8 years, the brochure in effect said that the final cost would be about $500 million. The project was indeed delivered on schedule, which is noteworthy considering the magnitude and complexity of the project, but the project was delivered substantially over budget. Governor Kaine was the one who pushed to have this news release say that the project was "finished on budget," but a careful analysis of the statement "“We also promised in 2002..." means "After my party took over the governorship from the other party, we promised ...", as January 2002 is when Kaine's party did that (Mark Warner was inaugurated in January 2002 and Tim Kaine was inaugurated in January 2006). The project was halfway complete by January 2002 and five of the seven phases had already been placed under construction.
Congestion Management and Accident Management Plans
The project had an Accident Management Plan. A state-of-the-art police mobile command vehicle stationed near the interchange coordinated communications and responded to major incidents. A fire department foam truck was available to assist in hazardous materials situations. VDOT safety service patrols as well as additional Virginia State Police and Fairfax County police officers patroled the corridor.
VDOT's aggressive congestion mitigation effort was a success. Record numbers of commuters took advantage of a variety of VDOT-funded alternatives to driving alone through the construction area. Since 1998, the number of people carpooling or riding buses on the I-95/395 HOV lanes had greatly increased outside the Beltway and inside the Beltway. VDOT over-delivered on the number of new park-and-ride spaces it promised to build for commuters. During the construction period of the project, over 5,000 park-n-ride spaces were opened on the I-95 corridor. In addition, hundreds of commuters took advantage of new public transit services designed to ease congestion on I-95. Virginia Railway Express ridership continued to grow. Part of the increase was due to the addition of a VDOT-funded early afternoon train. With the help of VDOT funding, patrons took advantage of the Springfield Mall shuttle bus to the Metro; dozens of new van pools were created, and passengers used the Mixing Bowl Express bus from Prince William County to Washington.
There were fears from some public officials and various citizens that placing this busy interchange area under reconstruction, would cause nightmarish traffic congestion well beyond the amount of traffic congestion that was already occurring. Surprisingly and fortunately, during the construction between 1999 and 2007, the project area didn't see any marked increase in traffic congestion, likely because drivers modified their travel patterns accordingly, and because of VDOT's congestion management plan detailed above.
"Springfield Interchange" - Not "Mixing Bowl"
On this project, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) was the administrator of the planning, design, right-of-way acquisition and construction. Throughout their literature, they use the name "Springfield Interchange Project" or "Springfield Interchange Improvement Project" to denote the name of this project. The name "Mixing Bowl" has been widely used in the local media for this interchange and project. VDOT only very occasionally uses that name, and for good reason -- the Mixing Bowl is the historic name for the interchange between I-395 Shirley Highway and VA-27 Washington Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia, near the Pentagon. The Mixing Bowl interchange is where the VA-27 freeway (Washington Blvd.) merges with I-395 and then branches off again. For more details, see the Roads to the Future articles Mixing Bowl Interchange Complexand Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway (I-95 and I-395), and the Virginia Section of American Society of Civil Engineers article The Mixing Bowl Project (1970-1973), from The History and Heritage of Civil Engineering in Virginia, by J.C. Hanes and J.M. Morgan, Jr., 1973. The "Mixing Bowl" name was applied to this interchange as far back as 1942 when it was originally opened, and I find it absurd that just in the last few years the local media has started calling another interchange just 8 miles away by the same name! Having two interchanges so close to each other, with each having the same name, is illogical and nonsensical. The Mixing Bowl name has never been removed from the I-395/VA-27 interchange, as far as I know. Henceforth, I refuse to use that name for the I-95/I-395/I-495 interchange -- I will call it the "Springfield Interchange" throughout this article and anywhere else it is mentioned on this website.
The following Capital Beltway dot com website article has links to photo articles with detailed descriptions of the construction of the Springfield Interchange Improvement Project. All Springfield Interchange Improvement Project photo articles, including the following photo article directory webpage, are on Capital Beltway dot com. The main Springfield Interchange Project article is on Roads to the Future. Both websites are developed by the same author.
Springfield Interchange Project Photos
on Capital Beltway dot com
Last update - July 28, 2007
Capital Beltway dot com is the Capital Beltway projects annex
to Roads to the Future.
VDOT has nice photos of the beam placement on the "high bridge ramp" from the Beltway Inner Loop to I-95 south --
è New I-95 Southbound Bridge Beams Installed Aug. 23 - 24, 2003 at the Springfield Interchange
è Mission Completed: Final I-95 Southbound Bridge Beams Installed Sept. 6 - 7 at Springfield
Springfield Interchange Improvement Project
Springfield Interchange Improvement Project Photo Album
VDOT's Springfield Interchange Project Website
VDOT's project website -Springfield Interchange Improvement Project.
VDOT produced a brochure to give commuters an advance look at the interchange and details about the commuter options created to help drivers avoid
the congestion. The brochure includes a full-color map that shows how the traffic
would flow in the completed interchange. Here is a PDF version (433K) of
Springfield Interchange Improvement Project Phases
4 & 5
Project Fact Sheet - for more information, see the entire fact sheet
More VDOT Springfield Interchange Project news
Springfield Interchange Bridge Beam Work Finishes 45 Minutes Early, 9/8/2003
Springfield Interchange Project Reaches Halfway Mark, 4/29/2003
Federal Highway Administration Approves Springfield Interchange Financial Plan, 1/24/2003
Springfield Mixing Bowl Tosses Up A Medley of Challenges, by Engineering News-Record magazine, May 6, 2002.
For more details and photos, see the following Roads to the Future
Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway (I-95 and I-395)
Capital Beltway (I-495 and I-95)
Interstate 95 in Virginia
Interstate 395 in Virginia
Interstate 495 in Virginia
Copyright © 2002-2007 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, Capital Beltway dot com
(Created 3-1-2002, last updated 9-17-2007)