The Virginia Department of Transportation will open the new diverging diamond interchange over Interstate 95 at Exit 140 on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The interchange opening is a milestone in the $195 million project to expand capacity and improve travel in the Courthouse Road area, according to a news release.
Diverging Diamond Interchanges lower the number of conflict points between vehicles by eliminating left turns. The new interchange briefly shifts vehicles on Courthouse Road to the other side of the road on new overpass bridges, which allows drivers to merge left onto the I-95 northbound and southbound ramps without stopping at a traffic signal, VDOT officials noted.
On Saturday, crews will open the new interchange to traffic, with assistance from Virginia State Police and local law enforcement. Opening the interchange early Saturday will allow crews to take advantage of lighter traffic volumes, according to VDOT.
In addition to the interchange opening on Dec. 7, motorists can expect:
On eastbound Courthouse Road, all three travel lanes will open in the diverging diamond interchange
At U.S. Route 1, a new four-lane Hospital Center Boulevard extension will open west of Route 1 and connect directly to the diverging diamond interchange on Courthouse Road through a new Wyche Road intersection
On westbound Courthouse Road, all three travel lanes will open in the diverging diamond interchange, but the road will narrow to two westbound travel lanes just before Austin Ridge Drive
Courthouse Road west of Austin Ridge Drive will remain reduced to one lane in each direction until late December, when all four lanes will open between the I-95 interchange and Ramoth Church and Winding Creek roads.
On Dec. 7, three of the new Exit 140 interchange ramps will open, but the I-95 southbound exit ramp to Courthouse Road will remain in a detour pattern until late December.
Motorists traveling from I-95 southbound to Courthouse Road should follow the posted detour signs to access the new Courthouse Road.
Traffic will be detoured for several weeks to allow crews to build the new exit ramp and raise its elevation to match the height of the new diverging diamond interchange and I-95 overpass bridges, officials said.
Numerous signs and pavement markings will guide drivers through the diverging diamond interchange. All work has been scheduled weather permitting. For real-time updates on lane closures and the opening of the diverging diamond interchange:
Check 511virginia.org or call 511 from any phone in Virginia
Visit the project page at virginiadot.org/exit140
Construction on the Exit 140 interchange and Courthouse Road widening project began in July 2017. All work is expected to be finished next summer.
After the new four-lane portion of Courthouse Road opens to traffic west of Austin Ridge Drive in late December, construction crews will focus on finishing project elements, including expanding the Park & Ride commuter parking and building new sidewalks and a shared use path.