01/01/10: “Hospital, City Plan for U.S. 1 Closure,” The Free Lance-Star

Hospital, City Plan for U.S. 1 Closure
City plans for U.S. 1 closure for construction of UMW’s pedestrian bridge

Mary Washington Hospital officials warned yesterday that the closure of a stretch of U.S. 1 in mid-January will affect hospital traffic.

Detours near the Fredericksburg hospital are necessary Jan. 15-17 because the University of Mary Washington Foundation is constructing a pedestrian bridge over U.S. 1.

It will connect Eagle Village–formerly Park & Shop–to UMW’s main campus.

A portion of the highway is scheduled to close 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15 and re-open Sunday between 6 a.m. and noon, said Fredericksburg Public Works Director Doug Fawcett.

“It would only go into Monday if there was some type of serious delay,” he said. Monday, Jan. 18 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In a press release yesterday, the hospital encouraged “anyone making non-emergency visits to plan additional time to get through local traffic surrounding our campus.”

Detour signs will be posted throughout the area.

The hospital’s main entrance off U.S. 1 will remain open to those traveling from the north and east. The highway will be blocked just south of the hospital’s entrance.

Fawcett is urging drivers not to use the hospital entryway as a detour.

“That will further congest the hospital campus and could have an impact on emergency vehicles and so forth,” he said.

Drivers on U.S. 1 coming from the south and west will have to get to MWH by taking a left on Cowan Boulevard and then a right at Hospital Drive.

U.S. 1 north traffic won’t be permitted past Snowden Street–the last side street before College Avenue.

The city also has a plan if the Virginia Department of Transportation has to close Interstate 95 and divert traffic to U.S. 1 during the holiday weekend.

Fawcett said that the city, working with the bridge construction crew, could reopen U.S. 1 north in one to three hours after receiving notification from VDOT. Those lanes could be used for southbound or northbound traffic and–in a worst-case scenario–both, he said.

“There’s a formal plan in place,” Fawcett said. He expects to complete detour maps by the end of next week and make them available to the public.

Jeff Branscome: (540) 374-5402
Published: January 2, 2010 by The Free Lance-Star

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