Harry Lee has been an engineer for VDOT
since the beginning of the I-95 project. Click on the audio icons
throughout this timeline to hear audio commentary from Harry. / Photo by
Becky Sell, The Free Lance-Star.
March 15, 1961 Federal Highway Administration eliminates
several planned interchanges, including one at State Route 208
(Courthouse Road) in Spotsylvania and one each at State Routes
627 (Mountain View Road) and 610 (Garrisonville Road) in Stafford.
July 21, 1961 - The State Route 610 interchange in Stafford is
restored because of its nearness to Quantico.
Construction of the bridge over the Rappahannock River, 10/20/62.
November 1961 T.A. Loving & Co. of Goldsboro, N.C.,
is awarded a $1.27 million contract to build twin bridges across
the Rappahannock River for I–95.
May 23, 1962 - Contractors break ground on the last section
of I–95 between Woodbridge and Richmond, a piece near State Route
630 (Courthouse Road) in Stafford.
Aug. 9, 1963 - Highway bridges over the Rappahannock River
are completed 20 days ahead of schedule. Final cost: $1.4 million.
Dec. 18, 1964 - The four-lane,
20-mile piece of I–95 between Massaponax and Triangle opens.
The ceremony features the Stafford High School band, a group
dressed up as famous colonial Fredericksburg residents and
“Miss I–95” Patsi Butler, a James Monroe High School student.
Speeches are kept short due to the extreme cold.
Dec. 22, 1964 - City Manager F. Freeman Funk tells a news
reporter that holiday traffic is flowing well on the new highway.
“I was mighty thankful it wasn’t coming down Jefferson Davis Boulevard,” he says.
Feb. 26, 1965 - I–95 is carrying just over 9,100 cars a day around the city.
Traffic on U.S. 1 near Four Mile Fork has dropped about 55 percent since the highway
opened. Traffic near the Falmouth Intersection drops between 30 percent and 40 percent.
Harry Lee: U.S. 1 was dangerous stretch of highway before I-95.
Dec. 19, 1966 - Officials say I–95 is safer than U.S. 1 ever was.
Between 1962 and 1965, traffic volume along the I–95/U.S. 1
corridor increased 73 percent, but the accident rate dropped 49
percent, injury rate dropped 47 percent and the death rate
dropped 46 percent.
May 1972 - Traffic on I–95 is growing at a rate faster than
predicted. Engineers expected 29,500 cars a day would use the
highway between U.S. 17 and Quantico by 1975. Already, that
number is up to 33,000 cars a day.
Jan. 3, 1976 - The state awards a $1.41 million contract to widen
I–95 to three lanes on each side from the Occoquan River to Woodbridge.
Ultimately, it plans to widen the highway to six lanes from D.C. to Triangle.
Nov. 7, 1977 Estimates show that widening I–95 from Triangle
to Ashland will cost around $95 million.
November 1980 - Widening begins in North Stafford and Upper Caroline. Both projects will
cost about $15 million
Nov. 8, 1981 - "It's certainly not
a pleasant drive between here [Richmond] and Washington. It's
one that you've got to be careful with," Stokes Grymes, spokesman
for the Automobile Club of Virginia, tells the Times-Dispatch.
April 1983-June 1985 - Plans
approved to upgrade the U.S. 17 interchange and widen parts of
I–95 in Caroline, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg and Stafford.
December 1985 - State Highway Department converts the
northbound shoulders of I–95 from Springfield to Woodbridge
into commuter lanes during rush hours. It does the same with the
southbound shoulder in June 1986.
Oct. 22, 1987 - The last section
of the newly widened I–95, from Thornburg to Massaponax, opens.
The cost of six-laning the highway comes to $171 million. Now, 40,000
cars a day come through the Fredericksburg area.
Jan. 5, 2000 - VDOT launches Web site that allows commuters to view video
and highway conditions on I–95 as well as Interstates 66, 395 and 495.
June 2000 - VDOT updates cost of the Springfield Interchange to $509 million.
October 2000—Price tag for Springfield Interchange rises to
During a snowstorm on Feb. 22, 2001, a 117-vehicle pileup shut down I-95 for hours.
Victoria Dickerson is helped through a gauntlet of wrecked and burned vehicles by Stafford firefighter Billy Kelly. / Robert A. Martin, The Free Lance-Star
Feb. 22, 2001 - A 117-car accident in North Stafford triggers 33
wrecks along snow-covered I–95, shutting the road down between
Massaponax and Prince William for almost 10 hours. The pile-up,
in which one woman dies, is tied for the worst wreck in U.S. history.
April 24, 2001 - The Springfield Interchange is now estimated to cost $585 million.
March 2002 - Scratch that. The price tag is now $676.5 million.
May 2002Work on the State Route 627 interchange in Stafford
begins. The $49.2 million project is slated to be complete in July
The interchange at State Route 627 in Stafford,
under construction in September 2004. / Alex Russell, fredericksburg.com
2002 - Traffic counts for this year show that as many as 140,000
cars a day travel parts of I–95 in the Fredericksburg region.
February 2003 - Contractors associated with the Stafford Marketplace
development start reconfiguring the interchange at State Route 610 so drivers exiting west
bound can reach the far left lanes. The $2 million project is paid for by developer Pence-Friedel.
September 2003 - A consortium of three firms—Koch Perfor
mance Roads, Clark Construction Group and Shirley Contracting
Co.—proposes building HOT lanes on I–95 to U.S. 17 in Stafford.
Steelworkers bolt down a 200-ton girder almost a football field in length in August 2003. The beam will support the offramp for the Capital Beltway at the Springfield interchange. Interstate 95 at the Washington Beltway was closed as 600-tons of steel were hoisted into place on piers towering 100-feet above the highway./ Robert A. Martin, The Free Lance-Star