Governor Bob McDonnell today announced several initial measures being implemented by the Mark Center Task Force to ease traffic impacts on I-395 and Seminary Road in Alexandria. The Governor created the Task Force in August to monitor and help mitigate the effects of 6,000 Department of Defense (DOD) workers moving to the new Mark Center over the next year.
"Every minute stuck in traffic is a minute away from loved ones and engaging in the economy," said Governor McDonnell. These measures implemented by the Mark Center Task Force are an important step to ease congestion associated with the influx of workers moving to the new Mark Center. My administration will continue to work with federal and local partners to continue to make transportation improvements at the Mark Center and around the commonwealth that will allow commuters to spend less time in traffic and more time with their families."
To keep traffic moving during the morning rush on northbound I-395, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has re-timed traffic signals, installed new signs and re-striped the I-395/Seminary Road interchange rotary to allow dual left turn lanes for traffic headed to the Mark Center. The route from the ramp to the Mark Center also has been reconfigured to allow two lanes. Crews expect to complete these improvements in time for the morning rush on Dec. 12.
Transit agencies have adjusted bus routes to provide increased service and were involved in the Mark Center HOV ramp design discussions to make sure it meets bus drivers' expectations.
VDOT and the City of Alexandria have been monitoring traffic and adjusting signal timings at the I-395/Seminary interchange and selected Seminary Road intersections to manage the increased traffic. September monitoring revealed delay issues for northbound traffic exiting at Seminary Road which led VDOT to re-time the signals on the interchange rotary.
Traffic forecasts indicate additional traffic problems in the Mark Center area are expected as DOD staff relocates to the site. Approximately 5,000 of the 6,400 employees are expected to be at Mark Center by the end of this year.
VDOT continues to aggressively pursue environmental and design approvals for the construction of an $80 million HOV/transit ramp at I-395 and Seminary Road. A public hearing on the draft Environmental Assessment and preliminary design is tentatively planned for late January 2012.
The Task Force has created a web page at www.vamegaprojects.com/about-megaprojects/mark-center-taskforce/ with information on transit alternatives, lane closure schedules that might impact the Mark Center, and traffic monitoring study results.
Members of the Task Force include federal, state and local transportation and transit agencies and governments.