Virginia Has One Of America’s Most Hated Highways

Virginia is a state with many attractions, such as historical landmarks, natural wonders, and cultural diversity. But it is also a state with some of the most hated highways in the country, according to a survey by Volvo. Three of Virginia’s busiest, most congested freeways made the list of “America’s Most Loathed Highways”: I-66, I-95, and I-495 (Capital Beltway). These roads are notorious for their traffic jams, accidents, and tolls, which frustrate and endanger drivers every day.

I-66: Connecting D.C. to Western Virginia

I-66 is a 76-mile interstate that connects Washington, D.C. to western Virginia, passing through Fairfax and Prince William counties. It is one of the main routes for commuters who work in the capital, as well as travelers who visit the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains. However, it is also one of the most hated highways in the country, ranking 20th on Volvo’s list.

One of the reasons why I-66 is so loathed is its congestion, especially during peak hours. The road often sees bumper-to-bumper traffic, with average speeds dropping below 20 mph. The road is also prone to accidents, which cause further delays and closures. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), there were 2,426 crashes on I-66 in 2020, resulting in 12 fatalities and 1,091 injuries.

Another reason why I-66 is so despised is its tolls, which are among the highest in the nation. The road has a dynamic tolling system, which means that the price changes depending on the traffic volume and demand. The tolls apply to solo drivers who use the express lanes during peak hours, while carpoolers, buses, and motorcycles can use them for free. The tolls are meant to reduce congestion and fund transportation projects, but many drivers find them unfair and expensive. In 2018, the tolls reached a record high of $46.75 for a one-way trip.

I-95: Running Along the East Coast

I-95 is a 1,917-mile interstate that runs along the east coast of the United States, from Maine to Florida. It is the longest north-south interstate in the country, and one of the most important for commerce and tourism. In Virginia, it passes through major cities such as Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Alexandria, as well as rural areas and military bases. It is also one of the most hated highways in the country, ranking 50th on Volvo’s list.

One of the reasons why I-95 is so loathed is its traffic, particularly around Richmond and the northern Virginia/DC area. The road is often clogged with cars, trucks, and buses, creating long delays and frustration. According to INRIX, a transportation analytics company, I-95 in Virginia was the 18th most congested road in the country in 2019, with drivers spending an average of 29 hours per year in traffic.

Another reason why I-95 is so despised is its road conditions, which are often poor and unsafe. The road is old, narrow, and bumpy in some sections, making it difficult to drive and prone to accidents. The road also lacks adequate rest areas, service stations, and public transportation options. VDOT has been working on several projects to improve I-95, such as widening lanes, adding express lanes, and building a commuter rail, but these efforts are costly, time-consuming, and controversial.

I-495: Encircling Washington, D.C.

I-495, also known as the Capital Beltway, is a 64-mile interstate that encircles Washington, D.C., passing through Maryland and Virginia. It is one of the most important roads in the region, connecting the capital to its suburbs, airports, and neighboring states. It is also one of the most hated highways in the country, ranking 70th on Volvo’s list.

One of the reasons why I-495 is so loathed is its traffic, especially during rush hours. The road is often jammed with commuters, tourists, and government officials, creating gridlock and stress. According to INRIX, I-495 in Virginia was the 25th most congested road in the country in 2019, with drivers spending an average of 26 hours per year in traffic.

Another reason why I-495 is so despised is its tolls, which are similar to those on I-66. The road has a dynamic tolling system, which applies to solo drivers who use the express lanes during peak hours, while carpoolers, buses, and motorcycles can use them for free. The tolls are meant to reduce congestion and fund transportation projects, but many drivers find them unreasonable and burdensome. In 2017, the tolls reached a record high of $40 for a one-way trip.

Conclusion

Virginia has some of the most hated highways in America, according to a survey by Volvo. Three of its freeways, I-66, I-95, and I-495, made the list of “America’s Most Loathed Highways”, due to their traffic, tolls, and road conditions. These roads cause many problems for drivers, such as delays, accidents, and expenses. While the state and federal governments have been trying to improve these roads, the solutions are often slow, costly, and contentious. Therefore, drivers in Virginia have to cope with these hated highways, or find alternative ways to travel.

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