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2021 will be a busy year for local road work as projects wrap up while others get started
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2021 will be a busy year for local road work as projects wrap up while others get started

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Road work is one thing that seemed to continue uninterrupted during a tumultuous 2020, and more of the same can be expected this year.

Major projects, primarily on Interstate 95, will resume during 2021, while other road work will either start or end.

Work will continue on a handful of major projects that will last beyond 2021, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. The river crossing projects are the biggest of the bunch.

Work on the southbound side of I-95 started in August 2018. The northbound crossing project started in October. The southbound project will cost $132 million. The northbound project will cost $127 million.

The projects will add three lanes on each side of the interstate from U.S. 17 in Stafford County to State Route 3 in Fredericksburg, separating through-traffic from local vehicles. Only traffic on the local lanes will be able to use exit ramps in the project area.

Two bridges are being built between the existing spans over the Rappahannock River as part of both projects. The northbound crossing also will add a fourth “auxiliary” lane from U.S. 17 to Centreport Parkway. The southbound project is slated for completion in 2022. The northbound project is scheduled for completion in spring 2024.

The express lanes extension is another major interstate project that will continue in 2021.

The project will take the toll lanes from just south of State Route 610 in North Stafford another 10 miles south to the U.S. 17 interchange. Work on the $565 million project started in 2019 and is scheduled for completion in May 2022.

A new project in Spotsylvania County that will continue beyond 2021 just got started in December: the U.S. 17 overpass replacement and road widening.

The project will replace the structurally deficient span with a wider, four-lane span, and U.S. 17 also will be widened to four lanes from the overpass to just east of the Hospital Boulevard and Germanna Point Drive intersection.

A shared-use path, sidewalk and crosswalks will be built as part of the project, which is scheduled to be completed in February 2024.

Projects set to start in 2021

The Stafford Courthouse area will start getting an overhaul this year.

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The $13.2 million project will make intersection improvements at U.S. 1 and Courthouse Road and U.S. 1 and Hope Road, with additional left and right turn lanes on U.S. 1 and Courthouse Road.

Work is set to start on a new $17.4 million commuter lot in Spotsylvania in the spring or summer in the Massaponax area, at U.S. 1 and Commonwealth Drive. The lot is expected to open in 2023.

Utility work has already begun. Road work is set to start in the spring.

Work also will start on a pair of Caroline County projects this year.

One is designed to expand parking at the county’s I-95 rest area. The $4 million project will increase the number of available truck and larger commercial vehicle parking spaces from 20 to 68. Construction is expected to start in April. The new spaces could be ready by November.

A $2.1 million project in the county calls for adjusting the layout of the intersection of Ladysmith Road, Partlow Road and Anderson Mill Road. The reconstructed intersection is supposed to “improve sight distance, realign and flatten the horizontal curve, and provide a dedicated right turn lane westbound on Route 639 to Route 738,” according to VDOT.

Projects set for completion in 2021

The biggest project set for completion in 2021 is the Chatham Bridge rehabilitation, slated to open in October.

The bridge closed in June for the $23.4 million rehabilitation project. A new road deck will be laid atop the existing concrete piers.

Two Caroline bridge projects are also set for completion this year.

Work continues on the replacement of the southbound Route 207 bridge over the Mattaponi River in Caroline. The existing bridge, built in 1957, is structurally deficient. The $7.9 million project will replace the existing structure with a new concrete bridge on steel beams. It is scheduled to open in July.

A smaller bridge project to replace the existing structurally deficient wooden span on Route 743 is set to wrap up in 2021. The new bridge will have a concrete deck and beams that will allow heavier vehicles to cross it. The span, crossing the South River, currently has a 10-ton weight limit.

In Westmoreland, work just started on a project to add passing lanes and turning lanes on Route 3 along a 1.5-mile segment. The change will convert the segment of the highway into a four-lane, undivided road from just north of Winter Harbor Road and just east of Longwood Road.

The $12.7 million project is scheduled to be finished in December.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

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