Manassas Journal Messenger | Lane Ranger 8/29

RELATED Traffic & Transportation

Dear Lane Ranger: As I ride up and down Interstate 95 seven days a week, I am constantly amazed at how wrong the information displayed on the overhead signs is.

They say that traffic is slow when it isn’t. They say there is an accident on the shoulder when there isn’t. They don’t say that traffic is slow when it is.

In general, they seem useless.

How do these signs work? Who controls what they say and when??

Also, at exit 169B coming from the south there is a very sharp turn in the ramp. This is my exit so I am acutely aware of the turn. Unfortunately, lots of people are not and have kissed the guard rail many times.

Why can’t Virginia Department of Transportation put up those large yellow/black signs with large arrows that indicate a sharp turn is ahead? This is really dangerous.

Tom Beames


Dear Tom: All message signs on Northern Virginia highways are controlled by VDOT’s Smart Traffic Center in Arlington, said Ryan Hall, VDOT spokesman.

This facility monitors traffic conditions on I-95, Interstate 395, Interstate 66 and the Dulles Toll Road, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

VDOT uses many resources to keep an eye on traffic, Hall said.

One is through the use of 120 traffic cameras that staff continuously view.

Another source of information comes through sensors in the roadway that show average speeds of all the lanes and a low tech means such as VDOT’s safety service patrollers and Virginia State Police who report what they see on the roads they patrol, Hall said.

Similar observations have been made internally and VDOT is in the process of reviewing the results of a consultant study of message boards and their use.

Hall forwarded your request for arrow signs to VDOT’s engineering department which will review the situation on the ramp.

I-66 Detour starts today

Beginning today, traffic on a four-mile stretch of I-66 in Manassas will be detoured at night for approximately two months as part of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s I-66 widening project.

Traffic on westbound I-66 will be detoured for at least the first two weeks, then eastbound traffic will be detoured for two weeks or more.

The traffic detour will alternate between the westbound and eastbound lanes during the two-month period.

VDOT will give motorists one week’s notice prior to switching directions.

The westbound detour will be in effect Sunday through Thursday from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., and from 9 p.m. Saturday nights until 9 a.m. Sunday mornings.

There will be no westbound detour Friday nights.

The eastbound detour will be in effect Monday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., from 9 p.m. Friday until 9 a.m. Saturday and from 9 p.m. Saturday until 9 a.m. Sunday. There will be no eastbound detour Sunday nights.

Traffic will be detoured to U.S. 29.

Motorists should expect the five-mile detour to add 45 to 60 minutes to their trip, particularly if traveling before midnight.

The detour will not be in effect over the Labor Day (Sept. 2-5) and Columbus Day (Oct. 7-10) weekends (Friday night through Monday night), during Nissan Pavilion events, during the President’s Cup event (Sept.18-25) or whenever weather does not permit.

By detouring traffic, VDOT is reducing the original 90-day construction schedule to approximately 60 days.

Construction crews will be removing approximately 16 lane miles of old pavement and adding several inches of new pavement to the roadway.

DMV closed Labor Day

All Division of Motor Vehicle Service Centers will be closed Labor Day.

Visit or call (888) 337-4782 to learn about the division’s self-service options.

Please send questions or comments on transportation to: Lane Ranger, c/o Potomac News, P.O. Box 2470, Woodbridge, VA 22195; fax: (703) 878-8099; e-mail: [email protected]; or by phone: (703) 878-8063

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