The Potomac Crossing is the seven and one half mile corridor of Interstate 95, starting South of St. Barnabas Road in Maryland and extending across the Potomac River into suburban Virginia, ending at Telegraph Road. This seven and one half mile corridor sees a daily traffic volume of over one hundred and ninety five thousand cars. With this much traffic volume in such a short stretch of road, it was no surprise that excruciatingly lengthy bottle necks are a daily occurrence. A visit to the D.C./Virginia/Maryland region, and you'll see just why it was time for some major road/bridge improvements in one of the worst bottle necking stretches of road in the country.
The Potomac Crossing project did not just develop overnight, as some people have speculated. Infact, the actual improvement planning process began in 1988. Initially, the process involved setting up studies to determine what the traffic needs would be in the twenty-first century, and then determining how to meet those needs with the current road and bridge conditions. The initial study would eventually take eight years to complete, and the outcome was as predicted-numerous recommendations and changes were needed to keep up with the population growth, including theconstruction of a much needed new Woodrow Wilson Bridge. In 1998, the Potomac Crossing Consultants, consisting of Parsons Brinckerhoff, URS Corporation, and Rummel, Klepper, and Kahl, completed the Woodrow Wilson bridge design. Finally, in 2000, the final environmental impact study was completed with the go ahead.
The next step, as in most any construction project, is determining who or what would befinancing a project of this magnitude. Eventually the costs of the project would be divided four ways: with the state of Maryland contributing 3.5 million dollars, Virginia contributing 515 million dollars, and the District of Columbia with 16 million dollars. Who are we forgetting, oh last but surely not the least the good ole' Federal Government would end up kicking in one thousand six hundred and thirteen million dollars.
The Potomac Crossing is one of the largest on-going federal highway projects in the history of the United States, with a projected cost for completion of 2.43 billion dollars. To accomplish this mega under taking, bridge and road contractors from all across the United States would be recruited to bid on; and if selected to become part of this ongoing heavy highway construction challenge. The basic overall construction process requires a work force, on any given day, from one thousand to two thousand workers along this seven and one half mile stretch known as The Potomac Crossing, encompassing over seventy bridges and four major interchanges consisting of Interstate 95 at Route 210/Indian Head Highway, Route 295 at Interstate 95, access into Washington D.C. from I-95, US. Route1 at 495 and Telegraph Road in Virginia. Not to mention the extensive amount of general road work improvements.