River traffic must exit the water before the first I-95 southbound bridge. Stairs and a path are available to help river users navigate around the river closure. Paddlers will then reenter the river at a launch on the other side of the structures.
Warning signs and buoys are posted to alert river users to the portage ahead, and communicate when and where to exit the river.
Wagman, Inc., the project contractor, has recently widened and improved the portage path by installing a wood bridge and providing a wider, firmer area for walking. The contractor’s efforts are to make it easy and as efficient as possible for paddlers to exit the water with their canoe, kayak or tube then reenter the river.
Additional signs notifying users of the portage have also been installed upstream and at major launch locations, including Mott’s Landing.
Wagman will continue to maintain the path, portage, additional signs and buoys until crews can reopen the river early next year to ensure the safety of river users.
Pedestrian trails near the river in Fredericksburg will remain open. There may be brief, intermittent stops of trail traffic to allow construction equipment to enter and exit the work zone.
All recreational traffic, on the river and on pedestrian trails, is encouraged to obey signs and warnings in the construction work zone.
The river closure is necessary to continue construction for the I-95 Northbound Rappahannock River Crossing project.
Crews are building a second northbound bridge to carry three I-95 northbound lanes for through traffic over the river between Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg.
The portage is required as crews use a temporary causeway bridge in the river for heavy construction equipment to build the interstate bridge.
Weather permitting, river traffic will portage through Feb. 2023.
Construction on the $127 million project to build three additional northbound lanes of I-95 between exit 130 (Route 3) in the City of Fredericksburg and exit 133 (Route 17) in Stafford County began in fall 2020.
As part of the I-95 Northbound Rappahannock River Crossing project, a fourth northbound lane will be built between exit 133 to exit 136 (Centreport Parkway). It will also rebuild the last Route 17 overpass in need of replacement at the exit 133 interchange and build sidewalks along northbound Route 17 between Short Street and South Gateway Drive.
The project is expected to be complete in spring 2024.