HNTB Corp, Kansas City, started preliminary design in 1993, says Paul Templeton, HNTB chief of highway design.
"We had 12 concepts" for what to do with the route in the beginning, he
recalls.Suggestions included sinking I-95 underground, reminiscent of the Boston Central/Artery project."This [chosen design] was No. 12," he
says.The mission is to eliminate the weaves with improved local roads, high-occupancy vehicle lanes and improved ramps."It's like building three projects in one," within existing right-of-way, he
Martinez notes that the controversial project received lots of "doom and gloom" media coverage.Templeton
concurs, saying "the first predictions were that traffic was going to collapse" as the first two major contracts of the seven-step program began in 1999.Those contracts, awarded to Shirley Contracting Corp.
, Lorton, Va., for a total of $90 million, entailed building 15 new bridges and widening four miles of arterial roads at I-95's intersection with Route 644, just south of the I-95/395/295 interchange.Shirley
completed the work nearly a year ahead of schedule, netting a $10-million bonus, and now is working on Phase 4 (ENR 5/14/01 p. 14).
FLYOVER New ramps will ease interchange transitions. (Photo courtesy of the Virginia Department of Transportation/Tom Saunders)