Shirlington, Virginia

Interstate 395 (District of Columbia-Virginia)

Interstate 395 (abbreviated I-395) in Virginia is a 13 mile (21 km) long spur route that begins at a junction with Interstate 95 in Springfield, Virginia and ends in northwest Washington, D.C. It passes underneath the National Mall near the United States Capitol and ends at a junction with U.S. Highway 50 at New York Avenue, roughly a mile (2 km) north of the Capitol tunnel.

Route description

Springfield Interchange

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

Unofficially, this interchange is also referred to 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

I-395 contains a reversible, barrier-separated HOV facility, with its own entrances and exits, provided as a third roadway of Interstates 395 and 95 between Washington, D.C., and State Route 234 in Prince William County, Virginia. During rush hour, the HOV facility operates in the direction of rush-hour traffic and is restricted to vehicles containing three or more passengers. At other times, the facility is either open to all traffic in one direction or closed to all traffic.

In Virginia, motorcycles, alternative fuel cars, and federal law enforcement vehicles are permitted to use HOV lanes, even if carrying only one occupant. The law allowing hybrid vehicles to use HOV facilities was scheduled to expire on July 1, 2007, but in March 2007 the existing rules were extended until July 1, 2008. Special restrictions now apply to the I-395/I-95 corridor: hybrids bought and registered before July 1, 2006 may continue using the I-395 HOV facility with only one occupant, while hybrids purchased after June 30, 2006 are subject to standard restrictions in the corridor. (Single-occupant hybrids are still permitted in all other HOV lanes in Northern Virginia, such as those on I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road. )

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.

Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge

I-395 and US 1 cross the Potomac River from Virginia to Washington, D.C. on a three-span bridge. During an evening rush-hour snowstorm in 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed on take-off from National Airport and hit one of the spans. 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.

Washington, D.C.

The following names are used for I-395 in the District: the Southwest Freeway from the 14th Street Bridge to the I-395/695 interchange, the Center Leg or Center Leg Freeway from the I-395/695 interchange to New York Avenue, and the 3rd Street Tunnel for the segment under the National Mall.


Shirley Highway

The portion of Interstate 395 between The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and the interchange with Interstate 95 and the Capital Beltway in Springfield was originally 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 along what is now 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 now ends in Washington, D.C., at a traffic signal at U.S. Highway 50, which is New York Avenue, near Mount Vernon Square.

Exit list

Exits in Virginia are numbered south to north, in accordance with AASHTO guidelines. Exits in the District of Columbia were unnumbered until 2008, when signs were posted numbering them sequentially south to north.
County # Destinations Notes


Fairfax 1A Southbound exit and northbound entrance
1B Southbound exit and northbound entrance
1C - Baltimore Southbound exit and northbound entrance
1D Southbound exit and northbound entrance
2 Signed as exits 2A (east) and 2B (west)
Express lanes Access to/from express lanes (HOV lanes southbound)
City of Alexandria 3 Signed as exits 3A (east) and 3B (west)
4 Seminary Road
Arlington 6 Shirlington (see also Shirlington Circle) Southbound exit is via exit 7
7 Signed as exits 7A (south) and 7B (north) northbound
8A Northbound exit and southbound entrance
8B Northbound exit and southbound entrance
8B Southbound exit and northbound entrance
8C Northbound exit and southbound entrance
8C South end of US 1 overlap; southbound exit and northbound entrance
9 Clark Street Northbound exit is via exit 10A
10A Boundary Channel Drive - Pentagon North Parking
10BC George Washington Memorial Parkway - Reagan National Airport, Mount Vernon, Arlington Memorial Bridge, Arlington National Cemetery Signed as exits 10B (south) and 10C (north)

District of Columbia

City of Washington 1 Left exit; north end of US 1 overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance
2 Potomac Park, Park Police
3 12th Street, L'Enfant Promenade - Downtown Entrances are from 9th Street
4 Maine Avenue No southbound entrance
5 6th Street Southwest, 7th Street Southwest, L'Enfant Promenade Southbound exit and northbound entrance
6 (I-695 east)
7 C Street Southwest, 2nd Street Southwest - U.S. Capitol, The House Left exit northbound
8 D Street Northwest - U.S. Senate No northbound entrance
9 Massachusetts Avenue Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Northern terminus


External links

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