Interstate 395 (District of Columbia–Virginia)

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Interstate 395 marker

Interstate 395
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Route information
Length: 13.31 mi[1] (21.42 km)
9.91 miles (15.95 km) in Virginia
3.48 miles (5.60 km) in the District of Columbia
Major junctions
South end: I‑95 / I‑495 in Springfield, VA
  US 1 in Arlington, VA
George Washington Parkway in Arlington, VA
US 1 in East Potomac Park, DC
I‑695 in Washington, D.C.
North end: US 50 in Washington, D.C.
Highway system
x20px SR 394 VA SR 396 x20px
DC 295 DC I‑495

Interstate 395 (I-395) in Washington, D.C., and Virginia is a 13.39-mile-long (21.55 km) spur route of Interstate 95 (I-95) that begins at an interchange with I-95 in Springfield and ends at an interchange with U.S. Route 50 (US 50) in northwest Washington, D.C. It passes underneath the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol and ends at a junction with U.S. Route 50 (US 50) at New York Avenue, roughly a mile (1.6 km) north of the 3rd Street Tunnel. Despite its proximity to Interstate 395 in Maryland, the route is unrelated and unconnected.

Route description

Time-lapse video of a northbound trip on Interstate 395

Springfield Interchange

The intersection where I-395, I-95, and the I-495 (Capital Beltway) meet is called the Springfield Interchange.

Unofficially, this interchange is also referred to as The Mixing Bowl. This moniker causes confusion, because the intersection of I-395, Washington Boulevard, and Columbia Pike several miles north was historically known by that name, and continues to be recognized by the Virginia Department of Transportation as such.

HOV facility

Cars on I-395, leaving Washington, D.C. (in distance) and passing by the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.

I-395 contains a reversible, barrier-separated HOV facility, also known locally as the "express lanes", with its own entrances and exits, provided as a third roadway of Interstates 395 and 95 between South Eads Street near the Pentagon in Arlington County and State Route 234 in Prince William County, Virginia.[2] During rush hour, the HOV facility operates in the direction of rush-hour traffic and is restricted to vehicles containing three or more passengers. Motorcycles, alternative fuel cars, hybrids registered in Virginia before July 1, 2006, and federal law enforcement vehicles are also permitted to use HOV lanes, even if carrying only one occupant. At other times, the facility is either open to all traffic in one direction or closed to all traffic.[3] In 2012, the exemption was modified to be "open-ended" rather than year-to-year.[4]

The facility was initially constructed with a single lane as the first busway in the United States before being expanded and converted to HOV use. Approximately 65% of travelers on I-395 (61,000 commuters) utilized the HOV lanes during the morning rush hour: 32,000 rode transit and 29,000 used private vehicles with 2 or more people. 33,000 commuters (35% of total users) drove alone.[5]

Potomac River Bridges

The Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge as seen from a Yellow Line train on the nearby Washington Metro bridge

I-395 and US 1 cross the Potomac River from Virginia to Washington, D.C., on three parallel four-lane bridges, together known as the 14th Street Bridge. Potomac River crossings for the Washington Metro's Yellow Line and for a major CSX railroad line are immediately downstream here. This site has long been a major Potomac River crossing, with the first bridge constructed here in 1809. Of the present highway spans, the eastern one was built in 1950, the western one in 1962, and the central one in 1972.

During an evening rush-hour snowstorm in 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed on take-off from National Airport, hitting the easternmost of the three highway bridges. The oldest span, formerly named the Rochambeau, is now named the Arland D. Williams, Jr. Memorial Bridge, in honor of a passenger of Flight 90 who survived the crash, escaped from the sinking aircraft, and perished in the Potomac River while saving others from the icy waters. The center span is now called the Rochambeau Bridge, and the western span, the George Mason Memorial Bridge.

Washington, D.C.

I-395 bridge over 12th Street SW in Washington, D.C.
Entrance to Third Street Tunnel (2009)

The following names are used for I-395 in the District: the Southwest Freeway from the 14th Street Bridge to the Southeast Freeway interchange (I-695), the Center Leg or Center Leg Freeway from the Southeast Freeway interchange to New York Avenue, and the Third Street Tunnel for the segment of the Center Leg under the National Mall.


Shirley Highway

I-395 in Alexandria, Virginia

The portion of Interstate 395 between the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the interchange with Interstate 95 and the Capital Beltway in Springfield is part of the Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway, named for a Virginia Highway Commissioner who died on July 16, 1941, just a few weeks after approving work on the new expressway. Originally State Route 350, the full length of the Shirley Highway was opened on September 6, 1949, from south of the Pentagon to Woodbridge, Virginia,[6] along what is now better known as the Interstate 95 corridor. The Shirley Highway featured the nation's first reversible bus lanes, a precursor to today's HOV lanes.

Interstate Highway through Washington

Original plans called for I-95 to travel through Washington, D.C., and Prince George's County, Maryland, toward the northeastern portion of the Capital Beltway, from which I-95 presently continues its northbound route. However, neighborhood opposition in the District halted this plan in 1977, diverting planned funding toward construction of the Washington Metro. The only remnant of the Maryland extension is a series of ramp stubs near College Park, which now lead to a Park & Ride. The portion of I-95 within the Beltway became I-395, while the eastern half of the Beltway was re-designated I-95 (and, later, co-signed I-95/I-495). I-395 currently terminates in Washington, D.C., at a traffic signal at U.S. Route 50, which is New York Avenue, near Mount Vernon Square.

Center Leg Freeway development

The District government finalized a deal in 2010 with the Louis Dreyfus Group to construct a 2,100,000-square-foot (200,000 m2) mixed-use development in the airspace over the Center Leg Freeway portion of Interstate 395. The $425 million office, residential, and retail project at the east end of the Judiciary Square neighborhood will also restore the area's original L'Enfant Plan street grid by reconnecting F and G Streets over the freeway. The project is awaiting final regulatory approval and is expected to be complete by 2016.[7]

Exit list

Exits in Washington, D.C. were unnumbered until 2008.[citation needed]

State County Location mi[8][9] km Exit[10] Destinations Notes
Virginia Fairfax Springfield 0.0 0.0 1A I‑95 south – Richmond Southern terminus
0.0 0.0 1B SR 644 – Franconia, Springfield Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.0 0.0 1C I‑95 north / I‑495 east – Baltimore Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.0 0.0 1D I‑495 west – Tysons Corner Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.4 0.64 2 SR 648 (Edsall Road) Signed as exits 2A (east) and 2B (west)
1.1 1.8 I‑395 north (HOV Lanes) Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.1 1.8 I‑95 Express south Southbound exit only and northbound entrance
City of Alexandria 2.0 3.2 3 SR 236 (Little River Turnpike / Duke Street) – Lincolnia, Landmark Signed as exits 3A (east) and 3B (west)
3.7 6.0 4 Seminary Road (SR 420)
4.6 7.4 5 SR 7 (King Street)
Arlington Shirlington 5.4 8.7 6 Shirlington (SR 402) southbound exit is part of exit 7
5.9 9.5 7 SR 120 (Glebe Road) Signed as exits 7A (south) and 7B (north) northbound
Arlington Ridge 8A South Arlington Ridge Road Southbound exit and northbound entrance
6.9 11.1 8A SR 27 (Washington Boulevard) to SR 244 (Columbia Pike)
Pentagon City 7.2 11.6 8A Pentagon South Parking Access via HOV Lanes only
7.5 12.1 8B SR 27 (Washington Boulevard) – Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery, Rosslyn Northbound exit and southbound entrance
8.0 12.9 SR 110 north to I‑66 west – Rosslyn Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Crystal City 8.4 13.5 8C US 1 south – Pentagon City, Crystal City, Reagan National Airport, Alexandria Southern terminus of concurrency with US 1
8.5 13.7 To I‑395 north (HOV 3+) Northbound exit and southbound entrance
8.7 14.0 9 Clark Street Northbound exit is part of exit 10A
Long Bridge Park 10 Boundary Channel Drive – Pentagon North Parking Signed as exit 10A
8.9 14.3 George Washington Memorial Parkway – Memorial Bridge, Reagan National Airport, Mount Vernon Signed as exits 10B (south) and 10C (north)
District of Columbia Potomac River 9.0
14th Street Bridge
Washington 0.5 0.80 1 US 1 north – National Mall Northern end of overlap with US 1, northbound exit and southbound entrance
0.6 0.97 2 Potomac Park, U.S. Park Police
0.8 1.29 To I‑395 south (HOV 3+) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.8 1.29 Francis Case Memorial Bridge
0.9 1.45 3 12th Street Expressway – Verizon Center, Downtown Southbound exit is part of exit 4
1.3 2.1 4 Maine Avenue SW – Southwest Waterfront, Nationals Park No direct southbound entrance
1.5 2.4 5 6th Street SW / 7th Street SW – L'Enfant Promenade Southbound exit and northbound entrance
1.6 2.6 6 C Street SW – U.S. Capitol, The House Northbound exit and southbound entrance; also erroneously signed as exit 2B
1.9 3.1 7 I‑695 east to I‑295 / DC 295 Also signed as exit 2A
2.2 3.5 8 2nd Street SW – U.S. Capitol Southbound exit and northbound entrance; also signed as exit 2B
3rd Street Tunnel
2.4 3.9 9 D Street NW – U.S. Senate No northbound entrance
2.7 4.3 10 Massachusetts Avenue NW Northbound exit and southbound entrance, access to Union Station
3.4 5.5 US 50 east (New York Avenue NW) to I-95 north / I-495 north / DC 295 / Baltimore-Washington Parkway – Baltimore Northern terminus at a signalized intersection with New York Avenue
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. "Table 2: Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 2007-10-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Roads To The Future -- Virginia Freeway HOV Lanes". Retrieved 5 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. New Law for Hybrids on HOV Lanes Signed by Gov. McDonnell May 2012 Retrieved May 31, 2012
  5. Quintana, Kala. "Many More People Commuting Along I-395/Route 1 Corridor Inside The Beltway Are Using HOV And Transit Than Driving Alone". Virginia Department of Transportation. Retrieved 18 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. London, John (September 7, 1949). "Shirley Road Saves Time, Test Reveals". The Washington Post. p. B1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Farmer, Liz (October 19, 2010). "Major development over I-395 moves closer to reality". Washington Examiner. Retrieved November 2, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Google. "Interstate 395 in Virginia" (Map). Google Maps. Google.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Google (December 26, 2013). "Interstate 395 in Washington, D.C." (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 26, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Route map: Bing / Google