Crews reopened the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Woodbridge on Sunday night after removing the iconic Potomac Mills sign, allowing the 95 Express Lanes to be used for northbound commuters during the Monday morning rush hour.
Winds damaged the Potomac Mills sign Friday, causing it to lean dangerously and forcing officials to close the southbound lanes of the busy highway from Friday afternoon through Sunday night, when crews finished removing the sign. Virginia Department of Transportation officials used the 95 Express Lanes as an alternate route for southbound commuters through the weekend.
In order to remove the sign, crane crews needed winds to be less than 13 mph. Once winds decreased to that speed, the sign removal was scheduled to take at least 11 hours?three hours to assemble the crane and an additional eight hours to remove the sign, VDOT said.
In addition to all southbound lanes of I-95 at Prince William Parkway, VDOT and local authorities have closed the ramp from southbound Route 123 to southbound I-95 and Telegraph Road between Prince William Parkway and Opitz Boulevard.
Motorists traveling south from the Beltway will be diverted to the 95 Express Lanes. Tolls remain suspended until the general lanes are reopened. The major alternate route is U.S. Route 1, which suffered from major congestion between Lorton and Opitz Boulevard as of 3:40 pm, and U.S. Route 301 toward Dahlgren.
Southbound motorists can attempt a Hail Mary alternative involving Virginia Routes 289, 286, 643 and 612 toward Manassas, before taking Virginia Route 234 south toward Prince William Forest Park and returning to I-95.