Preliminary transportation improvements that will speed up traffic flow and alleviate congestion have been completed near Mark Center in Alexandria.
The Virginia Department of Transportation announced that a new left lane on Mark Center Avenue and an additional right lane on eastbound Seminary Road from Mark Center Avenue, down the ramp to I-395 South, will be complete on Saturday, Sept. 1.
The modifications to the roadway are the first in a series of short and mid-term improvements near the Mark Center complex, after the federal government moved 6,400 defense employees to the building as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.
Work on the new lanes, which didn’t require right-of-way acquisition, was completed in only two months, but mid-term improvements will take longer, according to VDOT.
“These improvements will include turn-lane expansions and the elimination of part of the island on the eastbound side of Seminary Road to create an additional northbound lane on Beauregard Street,” reads a VDOT release about the project.
These midterm improvements require rights of way, which will take much of the rest of this year to acquire. Construction on the expansions could be completed as soon as July 2013.
The Mark Center transportation improvements will culminate in the construction of an $80 million ramp that connects the northbound HOV lanes of I-395 directly to Seminary Road. The ramp, , passed an environmental assessment by the Federal Highway Administration in June 2012, meaning construction can conceivably begin.
If construction begins in the spring, then the ramp could be open and operational by summer 2015.