Progress on $300m+ 4 mile VA3/I-95 connector pike in Fredericksburg VA - GEC wanted

October 2, 2011
By Peter Samuel

The George Washington Toll Road Authority (GWTRA) is making progress in developing the Rappahannock Parkway, its first toll project in Fredericksburg VA, on the southwest fringe of the Washington DC metro area. The Feds have given their approval for the Parkway's I-95 interchange, and the toll authority has an RFP on the street for general engineering consultants to develop the proposal further, including more detailed engineering design, NEPA approvals, investment grade traffic and revenue studies and other procurements.

The project's purpose is to bypass a congested low quality stretch of state route 3 (VA3) with a new high quality connection with I-95.

The state recently provided nearly $15m for developing the Parkway project but it is understood that the bulk of the funding will be tolls - either through the GW Toll Road Authority directly or a public private partnership (PPP) with an investor group for a longterm toll concession. The GWTRA was given state legislative authorization in 2008 and is constituted as a joint powers agency of four local counties.

GWTRA is presently staffed by the Fredericksburg Area Metro Planning Organization (FAMPO).

Much work along I-95

Much of the estimated $300m+ is needed on I-95 itself to expand the nearby bridge over the Rappahannock River from 6 to 10 lanes and to integrate and modernize adjacent interchanges with the new Parkway interchange.  The main interchange of the Parkway with I-95 will involve high flying direct connector ramps over ten lanes and road roadways of I-95 for the left movements.

Through traffic on I-95 would use the two existing 3-lane roadways and bridges over the River but traffic using the Parkway interchange would run in a pair of new two-lane collector-distributor roadways and similar river bridges straddling the existing roadways and bridges (see map.)

The proposed 4 mile, 6.5km long Rappahannock Parkway skirts the existing suburban development to its north and will provide a full expressway standard bypass of a low capacity stretch of VA3 - presently a congested signalized at-grade arterial without access control.

The new Parkway would have a single intermediate interchange (a simple diamond IC,) so there would be two toll points each direction.

Michael Baker so far

Michael Baker company engineers have done early work on the Parkway for GWTRA.

That includes traffic modeling of different alternatives and selection of a plan for the major interchange on I-95 and the changes needed on the interstate on either side.

FHWA OK'd the Baker company's Interchange Justification Report April 28 this year, allowing more detailed planning to proceed. Although the project has been discussed in some detail locally a federal environmental impact statement has yet to begin.

The general route of the Parkway itself is defined but a central section has two possible alignments.

Early modeling has suggested that toll-free it would carry 35k in  a future deriding year.

The RFP for general engineering consultant (GEC) services was issued Sept 16 and the deadline for proposals is Oct 31.

Scope of GEC services is described:

"The GEC will be responsible for the overall program management services for the new access point on I-95 between US Route 3 and the Rappahannock River and a new connector road (tolled) that provides access to the west to US Route 3. The GEC will be responsible for the development and administration of programs including, but not limited to: developing Requests for Proposals for professional services to procure engineering and financial analysis services, public affairs/outreach programs, general planning services, administrative support to the GWTRA, Safety Program Review, quality control/quality assurance, construction document review, and the construction management program for Design-Build, P3 as well as Design-Bid-Build projects associated with the overall project. The GEC selected will also be responsible for overseeing the work of professional services firms selected for engineering and financial analysis...."

general study:

http://www.fampo.gwregion.org/transportation-studies/i-95-rest-area-access-study/

RFP:

http://www.fampo.gwregion.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/091611_GWTRA-GEC-RFP-Final.pdf

TOLLROADSnews 2011-10-02

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