For years commuters and residents of Northern Virginia have referred to the mess of merging roadways in Springfield as the "mixing bowl." It is easy to see why it got that name. With 50 ramps and 20 lanes, merging of three major interstate highways, I-95, I-495 and I-395 it has gotten a reputation of being both a bottleneck and a confusing interchange.
As the huge Springfield Interchange project came to an end and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) turned its attention to "hot lanes" and other projects the 8 years of road construction in Springfield began to fade from commuters minds. However in doing some research on other road projects recently I discovered that the real "mixing bowl" in our area is not and has never been according to VDOT the Springfield Interchange.
In fact the "mixing bowl" is actually the intersection of roads in Arlington leading to and around the Pentagon. That's right the Pentagon. The first intersection was completed in 1944 were part of what "natives" know as Shirley Highway. The interchange has been rebuilt a couple of times and according to VDOT this interchange has 52 lanes, four highway junctions, reversible HOV lanes and numerous local road intersections all within a 2.5 mile section of the road.
Most commuters in the area know that if you make it past the Springfield Interchange with no problems that the next point you are most likely to be stuck in rush hour traffic is around the Pentagon. If you didn't know why before perhaps this little "history" lesson of Northern Virginia roadways will help you understand why. The next time you hear one of the local traffic announcers say there is a traffic jam at the Springfield Mixing Bowl you will know they haven't read my blog!
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Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations.
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