Springfield Interchange Construction Case Study

Under Construction

Springfield Interchange Bridges

Repairing two bridges along ramps from I-495 to I-395

About the Project

This project is repairing and rehabilitating two bridges along ramps from I-495 (Capital Beltway) to the northbound I-395 main lanes. One of the bridges carries over northbound I-495 (Inner Loop) the ramp from southbound I-495 (Outer Loop) to northbound I-395; the other bridge carries over the Norfolk Southern Railroad both the ramp from the Outer Loop to northbound I-395, and the ramp from the Inner Loop to northbound I-395.

Work on the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge, which was built in 1959, includes:

  • Replacing the concrete deck,
  • Repairing the pre-stressed concrete beams, concrete piers and abutments
  • Paving the approach to the bridge
  • Replacing bearings

Work on the bridge (built in 1975) over the Inner Loop includes:

  • Resurfacing the concrete deck
  • Repairing the concrete piers and abutments
  • Repainting steel beams
  • Replacing bearings
  • Removing or replacing joints

Estimated Costs
Preliminary Engineering: $800,000
Construction: $6.7 million
Total: $7.5 million

Traffic Impacts

At least one lane of the ramp will be open at all times. Drivers are asked to be cautious when driving through the work zone.


Project Numbers

UPC: 110125
State: 0495-029-345, P101, B622, B623

Page last modified: Dec. 22, 2017

Referred to by locals as the “Mixing Bowl,” the Springfield Interchange brings together three major highways serving some 400,000 vehicles per day. In fact, the Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. area has the unfortunate distinction of being home to the nation’s second worst traffic congestion. So, to improve the situation, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) came up with a plan that would separate local and interstate traffic.

But before they could even break ground, VDOT needed to build some goodwill among commuters, elected officials and business leaders who naturally suspected traffic would get worse during the construction. That responsibility fell to Siddall.

After surveying 1,500 commuters, an “honesty is the best policy” strategy was developed that entailed keeping drivers aware of the construction and offering alternate routes to avoid delays. Radio, newspaper and Internet advertising was developed promoting commuter solutions. A project newsletter with periodic updates was mailed to some 40,000 homes while springfieldinterchange.com was established to inform and educate area residents. In addition, the agency set up a speaker’s bureau to address groups and large businesses.

Going into the project, VDOT had some definitive goals they wanted the advertising and public relations efforts to achieve. Siddall didn’t let them down. Traffic volume decreased by 10,000 cars a day (four times more than the goal). Usage of new transit services far exceeded projections. The web site got more than 80,000 visits in just the first seven months. Plus an amazing 70 percent of residents saw the construction as needed and beneficial. And getting that many people in the Washington, D.C. area to agree on anything was nothing less than a miracle.

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