VDOT News - Statewide

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Haley Glynn (DRPT) 804-351-6647
Haley.glynn@drpt.virginia.gov

Emily Wade (VDOT) 804-389-3424
Emily.wade@vdot.virginia.gov

CO-168569

Oct. 22, 2020



STUDY EXAMINES MULTIMODAL TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS TO ADDRESS I-495 AMERICAN LEGION BRIDGE CONGESTION, RELIABILITY

RICHMOND, VAAt its October meeting, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) was updated on the I-495 American Legion Bridge Transit and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Study. The study is being conducted jointly by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA). It aims to identify a range of current and future multimodal solutions that can be implemented to reduce congestion, improve trip reliability and regional connections, and enhance existing and planned multimodal mobility and connectivity.  

“This study demonstrates the Commonwealth’s commitment to deliver network options that offer more seamless mobility throughout the region,” said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Identifying multimodal opportunities is integral to addressing congestion, maximizing reliability, and creating a sustainable transportation network.” 

The American Legion Bridge provides the only direct connection between the region’s two most populous counties, Fairfax County in Virginia and Montgomery County in Maryland. In 1965, the American Legion Bridge carried 48,000 vehicles daily, while today, pre-pandemic daily traffic averaged 235,000 vehicles. By 2040, traffic is projected to increase to 280,000 vehicles per day.  

“The Commonwealth is committed to safely, efficiently, and sustainably transporting people and goods,” stated Jennifer Mitchell, Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. “The American Legion Bridge is an essential artery connecting Virginia and Maryland. The findings of this study will help relieve congestion, accommodate future regional growth, use technology to inform commuter choice, and develop multimodal solutions to meet travel demand.”  

The unique recommendations from the I-495/American Legion Bridge Transit/TDM Study are aimed to work in concert with both Virginia’s I-495 NEXT project and Maryland’s Managed Lanes Study for a regionwide, seamless network of reliable travel options around the Capital Beltway, I-270, I-95, I-395, and I-66. Draft recommendations will be available mid-November for public input and the final report is scheduled to be complete in January 2021. Study updates are available on the DRPT website.   

In November 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced the Capital Beltway Accord to rebuild the American Legion Bridge and help address growing demand and congestion. The project is expected to cut commuting time in half for many travelers, reduce congestion in the regular lanes by 25 percent, provide 40 percent more lane capacity over the old bridge, and include bicycle and pedestrian paths across the Potomac River. 

In this month’s meeting, the CTB approved one construction contract:

  • A $15.3 million contract was awarded to Fielder’s Choice Enterprises Inc. of Charlottesville to replace the Route 17 overpass at Interstate 95 in Spotsylvania County, part of the Fredericksburg District. Completion is expected in early 2024. 

Appointed by the governor, the 17-member CTB establishes the administrative policies and approves funding allocation for Virginia’s transportation system. 

For more information on CTB meeting times and locations:

 

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Page last modified: Oct. 22, 2020