Virginia Roads - I-95/I-495

and I-495 (Capital Beltway)
Springfield Interchange, Wilson Bridge

Black backgrounds: the anti-RIDOT.



The Springfield Interchange, I-95 at I-495 and I-395, viewed from I-95 NB as it ramps onto I-495 and the Capital Beltway. I-395 into Washington, D.C. was I-95 for some time, as the FHWA tried to push I-95 through the northern suburbs of the District of Columbia to the northern I-95/I-495 junction in Maryland. Instead, the latter ends in a bus terminal/Park & Ride, and I-395 goes from the Springfield Interchange northward into the heart of D.C. If you're really smart, and not driving during rush hour, you can follow the old route of I-95 right to its end, turn onto New York Avenue, and come upon the end of the US 50 freeway 2 or 3 miles later. Or you could at least follow I-395 to secret I-695 and then up DC/MD 295 via Pennsylvania Avenue. If you're dumb, you go around the Beltway, I-495 in either direction and with an I-95 tacked on the eastern side for good measure.
Its history plays a role today, as VDOT tries to correct for the deficiencies in the original interchange, which was not built to handle through traffic going onto the Beltway. There is now a new two-lane flyover ramp for I-95 SB traffic, which you can see in this photo and which has greatly helped congestion across the Wilson drawbridge. That old drawbridge is also getting redone to finally be a fixed span, with many more lanes than before. There is a US 1 interchange just west of that bridge, and while work goes on, both the bridge and US 1 traffic back up trying to make it through the construction zone. Anyway, the other new ramps at Springfield have opened in the 2004-2005 window, and the new Wilson Bridge opened in late 2006. The US 1 interchange appears to be scheduled to open with the rehabilitation of the existing Wilson Bridge in 2008 or so.


The Springfield Interchange from I-95 SB leaving the Beltway, courtesy Lou Corsaro. The future I-95 through lanes are taking shape to the left.


Six more photos from Lou of construction at the interchange, though only the last is actually from the Beltway. Note that I-395 is Exit 170B from the southbound direection but 170A from this direction. Maybe this has gotten corrected to make NB consistent - I took the SB side in December 2006.


Exiting Mount Vernon; VA 235 is a loop to and from US 1 that also goes straight ahead from here. Both shields are ugly and not up to standards.


Southbound, a very cluttered exit tab. Eventually some random third shield might be meant to occupy the rightmost sign, or else VDOT messed up.


Also southbound, first showing off the faded FOOD LODGING NEXT RIGHT courtesy Lou Corsaro, and then the outlined BGS shield is a plus, but the font is a minus.


The early stages of construction at Exit 177 (US 1), SB courtesy Lou Corsaro in 2005. If you peer to the right in the last photo, you'll see that the end of the exit ramp has three-digit width shields.


A little later in December 2006, I came through the same way from the just-opened SB Wilson Bridge (which temporarily carried both sides of traffic to allow the old one to get rehabbed as the NB bridge), and now some of the pier caps have girders on them. I also caught the 3-digit width US 1 shields off to the right. The obelisk in the first photo is a Wilson Bridge plaque; to see the front side of the Maryland one, visit that state via the link at the bottom of the page.


Off of the Exit 177A loop ramp to US 1 South, whose interchange is being upgraded to be slightly overpowered instead of slightly underpowered. The flyover outside this ramp will carry US 1 SB traffic to I-95/495 NB across the Wilson Bridge.


Still more random overpasses to be constructed, continuing southwest toward the Springfield Interchange. The first photo looks back eastward at the dualization of US 1 over I-95/495.


The front of the obelisk that you saw from behind when I said "I came through [from the] SB Wilson Bridge."

Remaining photos are courtesy Lou Corsaro.


The old lift tower on the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, with the first new span rising behind it.


Four shots of Wilson Bridge construction - well, the first three are (first photo is the Washington St. underpass, which hints at a local/express configuration for the I-95/I-495 multiplex). The last photo is just a really old drawbridge signal assembly.


Vintage drawbridge gates.


I'm turning you around northbound now. This is where traffic will shortly rise onto the new span, and then a new sign mid-span. This will eventually be northbound-only, but for now it will carry two-way traffic with the same capacity as the current bridge, while the current bridge is replaced with the twin of this first one, which opened in June 2006.

I-95/495 HOT Lane construction
Walk the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge
Onto I-95 alone
Back to I-95 main page
Back to I-495 main page


Into Maryland on I-95/495
Exit 170B to I-395
Exit 176 to VA 241
Exit 177 to US 1
I-495 and 495/95 (Capital Beltway) on Steve Anderson's dcroads.net
Scott Kozel's Capital Beltway Highway Projects
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