We often complain about the gridlock and the rising price tag associated with the Springfield Interchange. It will be more than just Virginians complaining later this month when the eight-year project hits a key stage of construction.
In order to piece together a major highway bridge on the new Mixing Bowl, workers will be forced to close a section of northbound highway that connects drivers with the interchange of Interstates 95, 395 and 495. The first 14-hour closing of I-95 north in Springfield will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday and will last until 10 a.m. the next morning. There will be a similar closing on Saturday, Aug. 23.
The Mixing Bowl is one of the busiest sections of highway in the country carrying 430,000 cars and trucks daily. This isn’t only local traffic. Vehicles from up and down the east coast are funneled through the Mixing Bowl each day.
The backups due to the closings could affect as many as 60,000 vehicles as they are detoured onto other sections of the Capital Beltway as well as some local streets in the Springfield area.
What a mess. But it’s a necessary mess and a minor inconvenience considering the fact that workers have kept the lanes of the interchange open for most of the duration of this massive project.
The backup will also reveal how much our area needs an eastern bypass to get east coast traffic out of our area.