Wednesday, November 29, 2017

New Jamestown-Scotland Ferry Vessel Named

SUFFOLK- The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) by unanimous approval, today voted to name the newest boat in the Jamestown Scotland Ferry system the Powhatan.
There has been a return to the naming of ferries after important historical figures, including the most recent ferry boat Pocahontas, which was built in 1995.  Powhatan was Pocahontas’ father and was chief of all the Algonquin tribes in the area.
The CTB naming resolution states the Powhatan represents “a strong name for a strong vessel.” 
The new vessel, with a 70-vehicle capacity, is under construction in Pascagoula, Mississippi and is expected to be delivered to VDOT in spring 2018. The name of the new vessel needs to be placed on the boat before it is christened later this year.
The James City County and Surry County Boards of Supervisors both submitted resolutions of support to the CTB for the name Powhatan. The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation also submitted a letter to the CTB encouraging VDOT to utilize the opportunity presented by the ferry naming to “highlight the story of Powhatan in an appropriate way on board the ship.”
The ferry project is included in the commonwealth’s Six-Year-Improvement Plan for 2013-2018, with $2.5 million currently allocated for design, and $25 million allocated for construction in FY 2017-2018.
The Powhatan will replace the ferry boat Virginia which was built in 1936. The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry system transports approximately 936,000 vehicles annually and is the only 24-hour, state-run ferry in Virginia.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

VDOT Funds and Equipment in Place for Snow

RICHMOND, Virginia –The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is ready for Old Man Winter when he decides to come calling.
Staffing, equipment and materials are in place for snow when it starts to fall.
“We prepare for winter year round,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. “Our crews have the staff, materials and equipment in place to battle winter weather when it arrives.”
Snow removal resources:
  • More than $210 million set aside for winter weather
  • More than 2,500 VDOT crewmembers, in addition to contractors, available for snow removal statewide
  • More than 12,300 pieces of snow-removal equipment, including trucks, loaders and motor graders
  • More than 689,000 tons of salt, sand and treated abrasives and more than 1.6 million gallons of liquid calcium chloride and salt brine
What’s interesting about snow removal:
Online snowplow tracker – If snow reaches two inches or more, VDOT activates an online neighborhood tracking map.
Most VDOT trucks are equipped with automatic vehicle location technology, and many of them can be monitored on the tracker during snow removal operations.
Making use of runoff – VDOT loads salt onto snow-removal trucks on a paved area called a mixing pad. Since that area is normally wet during the loading process, the runoff is directed either to impermeable ponds or underground tanks.
Many of VDOT’s salt facilities are reusing some of this water from the ponds or tanks to produce brine, a solution of salt and water, to turn an environmental challenge – disposing of that runoff – into something useful.
VDOT applies brine to roads before winter storms as conditions allow.
Brine can prevent frozen precipitation from bonding to the pavement, and it reduces the overall amount of salt used.
Brine is also more environmentally friendly than salt.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

VDOT Incident Management Open House

To kick off Federal Highway Administration’s National Traffic Incident Response Week, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is hosting its first-ever Incident Management Open House on Nov. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Northern Virginia District Office, located at 4975 Alliance Drive in Fairfax. Veterans Day weekend is also a wonderful time to recognize the many veterans, who after serving their country, continue a career of public service. This is a free event!
An outdoor touch-a-truck exhibit will feature a simulated crash scene that will allow the public to see an incident scene from the perspective of first responders who work in the roadway every day. Participating agencies include:
VDOT: special event truck, evacuation trailer, spill trailer, front-end loader, dump truck, Safety Service Patrol trucks, signal maintenance truck and a full-size overhead sign
Coleman Motor Company: 50-ton rotator truck
Dominion Energy: bucket truck
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department: fire engine, medic unit, rescue squad
Fairfax County Police Department: traffic response vehicle
Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office: traffic truck
Prince William County Police Department: crash response vehicle, motorcycles
Redman Fleet Services: 85-ton rotator truck
Stafford County Sheriff’s Office: traffic truck, drone
Transurban: Express Assist Help truck
Virginia State Police: mobile command unit, cruiser, Leica system
Find more info and sign up here.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

How Will You Want To Get Around In 2040?

Virginia’s transportation leaders are considering how technology, generational values, and other factors may transform our transportation and mobility in the future. 
We’d like your input on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. 
Please follow the link below to an interactive online survey that will spark your imagination and help us inform the future!
 For more information about VTrans2040, visit

Monday, November 6, 2017

Richmond Highway Corridor Improvements Meeting Nov. 6

ALEXANDRIA – The Virginia Department of Transportation is holding a public information meeting Monday, Nov. 6 on preliminary plans to widen Richmond Highway from four to six lanes between Jeff Todd Way and Napper Road. This project aims to increase capacity, decrease congestion, and improve safety for all users.
In this meeting, residents will be able to learn more about preliminary design concepts under consideration, including innovative intersection options.
The project includes several improvements for bicycle and pedestrian users on both sides of the road, as well as preserving the median width necessary to accommodate Fairfax County’s future planned Bus Rapid Transit. Preliminary engineering has been fully funded by federal, state, and county sources, as well as the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.          
The public is invited to stop by between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at Mount Vernon High School, 8515 Old Mount Vernon Road, Alexandria, VA 22039 to learn more about the project, review preliminary design plans and provide input. VDOT staff will be available to answer questions.
A presentation will begin at 7 p.m.
Comments may be provided at the meeting or sent to VDOT by Dec. 6, 2017. Email or mail comments to Mr. William Dunn, P.E., Virginia Department of Transportation, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030. 
Visit for more details.

New I-95 Express Lanes Southern Terminus Opens Oct. 31

FREDERICKSBURG – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is opening a 2-mile extension of Interstate 95 Express Lanes in Stafford County today, adding new northbound and southbound ramps ahead of schedule.
The $50 million project extends Express Lanes beyond the flyover ramp where they previously ended, just north of Route 610 (Garrisonville Road). 
“We know we have more work to do on I-95, as recent congestion reports have reminded us, but this Express Lanes extension is the first step in a series of projects to unlock gridlock along I-95 through the Fredericksburg region,” said Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne. 
Virginia is investing more than $800 million over the next five years on I-95 projects in the Fredericksburg region. Six I-95 projects are expected to open to traffic in the Fredericksburg area by the end of 2022 to deliver relief and improved driving conditions. 
“Merging and weaving near the Garrisonville Road interchange has contributed to delays for drivers in the Express Lanes and the main lanes,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. “This extension will not resolve all of the congestion challenges on I-95, but it will reduce conflict points that are intensifying traffic slowdowns during the peak morning and afternoon commutes.”
Using the new extension, I-95 northbound traffic will be able to enter Express Lanes earlier at a new left entrance before the Garrisonville Road overpass.
Southbound Express Lanes traffic heading to Fredericksburg will be able to continue past Garrisonville and merge about one mile south of Garrisonville Road.
The extension will operate under the same rules and reversal schedule as the current 95 Express Lanes. 
Transurban, the current operator of the 95 Express Lanes, contributed $25 million to help support the extension.  
“We hope that this extension helps all travelers in this congested portion of I-95 and we ask customers to be alert and travel safely as they adjust to the new traffic pattern,” said Jennifer Aument, Group General Manager, Transurban North America. “We look forward to partnering with Virginia to continue to enhance the 95 corridor in Stafford County.” 
The new southbound ramp will open to traffic this afternoon. The new northbound ramp will open early Wednesday, Nov. 1. 
Construction on the extension began in July 2016. The project’s design-build team is Branch Civil, Inc., and Whitman, Requardt & Associates. 
Construction of a new noise barrier adjacent to I-95 southbound south of Garrisonville Road will continue after the extension and ramps open to traffic.
The project is a joint investment by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Transurban.
Transurban operates the existing 29-mile Express Lanes facility that opened in December 2014, and will be responsible or maintenance and operations of the two-mile extension. 
Around 146,000 vehicles a day travel I-95 near Garrisonville Road.  
I-95 new Express Lanes southern terminus
I-95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension 
A separate project is under development to extend Express Lanes by an additional 10 miles. 
The I-95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension project would build a reversible two-lane section of lanes as far south as the vicinity of the Route 17 interchange. New access to Express Lanes is proposed near the Route 17 and Route 630 (Courthouse Road) interchanges in Stafford, and at the Russell Road interchange at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
For more information on the I-95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension project, please visit the project page at
Partial project funding for the I-95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension was included in the Atlantic Gateway grant application. Virginia was awarded a $165 million FASTLANE grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2016 for Atlantic Gateway, a $1.4 billion package of highway, transit and rail projects in the I-95 corridor.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Transportation Board Awards Two Contracts Worth $414.9 Million

HOT SPRINGS, Virginia – The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved two contracts at their monthly meeting today totaling $414.9 million for maintenance and construction projects in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Hampton Roads and Salem districts.
  • I-64 will be widened and a new High Rise Bridge constructed in the City of Chesapeake
 A $409.6 million contract was awarded to Granite / Parsons / Corman Joint Venture of Tarrytown, New York, to widen about eight miles of Interstate 64 and construct a new High Rise Bridge adjacent to the existing span in the Hampton Roads District. The award is the largest design-build contract in VDOT history.
The project will widen I-64 from four to six lanes, beginning half a mile east of the Interstate 264 interchange at Bowers Hill, to one mile east of the Interstate 464 interchange.
The widening will add one High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane in each direction to the existing two general purpose lanes.
The new fixed-span High Rise Bridge will be built just south of the existing High Rise Bridge to carry the three lanes of I-64 west traffic over the Elizabeth River.
The existing High Rise Bridge will continue to operate and will carry three lanes of I-64 east traffic upon completion of the project.
The project will include replacement of the overpass bridge at Great Bridge Boulevard and realignment of the associated roadway.
The existing bridges carrying I-64 over Military Highway, Yadkin Road and Shell Road will be widened.
The project is being paid for with a combination of funds from the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission and the state’s SMART SCALE program.
The project is expected to be complete in summer 2021.
It is designed to accommodate a future Phase 2 project, which will expand the corridor to a total of eight lanes and replace the existing High Rise Bridge.
  • Two bridges will be replaced on Route 11 over Tinker Creek in Botetourt County
A $5.3 million contract was awarded to Orders Construction Co. Inc. of St. Albans, West Virginia, to replace two aging bridges carrying Route 11 (Lee Highway) over Tinker Creek in the Salem District.
One bridge is located near Cloverdale, and the second is located just north of Route 838 (Vista Drive).
The existing bridges were built in 1923 and 1932, respectively. The new structures will be wider and will provide 10-foot shoulders in both directions.
The project is expected to be complete in fall 2019. 
The following chart tracks the dollar amount of major contracts the CTB has awarded in calendar year 2017:
In advance of each CTB meeting, VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick also approves contracts up to $5 million in value.
From the Sept. 27, 2017, bid letting, the commissioner approved seven contracts worth approximately $9.93 million for construction and maintenance projects on Virginia’s interstates and primary and secondary roads.
Appointed by the governor, the 17-member CTB establishes the administrative policies for Virginia's transportation system.
The CTB allocates highway funding to specific projects, locates routes and provides funding for airports, seaports and public transportation.
The board normally meets on the third Wednesday of the month in months when action meetings are scheduled.
 For more information: