Seminary Road HOV Ramp to help end traffic congestion
UPDATE (9:20 AM – 1/12/2016): Hearing the new Interstate 395 HOV ramp at Seminary Road in Alexandria opened to traffic Monday afternoon.
As we told you earlier today, as early as next Tuesday, Jan. 12, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) plans to open a new ramp linking the I-395 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to Seminary Road in Alexandria, providing a direct connection for HOV drivers heading to the Mark Center and Seminary Road.
The ramp will reverse directions according to the same reversal schedule as the HOV lanes. The ramp will only be open to vehicles with three or more occupants and buses: vehicles that are not HOV-3+ are not allowed to use this ramp. The ramp will link the I-395 HOV lanes to Seminary Road on the top level of the Seminary Road interchange, where there will be a new traffic signal, turn lanes, and a dedicated left-turn lane for motorists heading to the Mark Center.
What drivers should expect this weekend:
To prepare the ramp for opening, crews will be working overnight this Friday, Jan. 8 until Saturday mid-morning, Jan. 9. Here’s what to expect:
- Multiple reversals of the express lanes and HOV lanes on I-395 to test the gates, signals and lighting.
- Drivers will be able to use the northbound or southbound express and HOV lanes during the tests, unless the facility is closed for a reversal.
- On-road signs will indicate the direction or closures. Gates will block the entry and exit points that are closed or in the process of closing. Drivers are advised to pay careful attention to on-road signs overnight.
On or about Tuesday morning, Jan. 12, if all testing is concluded, the new ramp is scheduled to open, benefitting carpoolers and buses. If further testing is required, it will occur the following weekend, with the ramp opening during the week of January 18.
The I-395 HOV ramp is one of the final elements of a project that includes a new Seminary Road bridge over I-395, at which all lanes opened Wednesday, Jan. 6, and a new pedestrian bridge over I-395 that is slated to open in February 2016. More information about the project is available at this link.
(Photo via VDOT)
Is this really restricted to HOV-3 24/7? It makes no sense to restrict this ramp during non-HOV hours.
Paul – I will see if I can find out more about that. Thanks for catching that. 🙂
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