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Author Topic: Harrisburg, PA to Richmond, VA  (Read 2201 times)

74/171FAN

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Harrisburg, PA to Richmond, VA
« on: January 25, 2016, 08:46:34 PM »

 I will actually be heading to Hopewell this Thursday (possibly during rush hour) and am looking for a decent alternate (to possibly skip the most congested portions of the major routes listed below).
  My major reason for bringing this up is in case of a situation when I-81 and/or I-95 are tied up due to accidents.   

1.  US 15 South to I-270 in Frederick to I-495 (north of the Legion Bridge) to I-95 (south of DC) to I-295 (north of Richmond) (quickest route when traffic in NOVA is somewhat light and when the only slowdown on I-95 southbound is at the Occoquan River-this route worked when I left Harrisburg at 6 PM the night before Thanksgiving)

2. I-81 South to I-66 East (possibly going straight to US 17 South/US 50 at Exit 313 and only using I-66 for the US 17 duplex) to US 17 South to I-95 South (at Exit 133) to I-295 (usually reliable when I-81 does not have problems, due to two accidents in Chambersburg I had to bail on this route back at Thanksgiving)

3. I-83 South to I-695 to I-97 to MD 3 (or US 50 West/US 301 South) to US 301 South to I-295 South (usually I would tend to skip VA 207 if I used this route-the backup on US 301/MD 5 South at Waldorf has basically killed this route for me)

One idea I was thinking about (that would allow me to skip Winchester)- was to use Number 2 but take the WV 45 from I-81 east to WV 9 and US 340 South to VA 255 to US 17/US 50 northwest of Paris.
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Mapmikey

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Re: Harrisburg, PA to Richmond, VA
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2016, 09:16:17 PM »

Quote
1.  US 15 South to I-270 in Frederick to I-495 (north of the Legion Bridge) to I-95 (south of DC) to I-295 (north of Richmond) (quickest route when traffic in NOVA is somewhat light and when the only slowdown on I-95 southbound is at the Occoquan River-this route worked when I left Harrisburg at 6 PM the night before Thanksgiving)

If it is anywhere near afternoon rush you will get stuck on the beltway from 270 to Amer Legion Bridge.  You will also have slowdowns on 95 from Exits 143-126.

If you do not have an EZ pass you will also get stuck on the Beltway from VA 7 to Gallows Rd and you will also get stuck at the Occoquan Lane Drop and possibly again near the end of the express lanes. 

Quote
2. I-81 South to I-66 East (possibly going straight to US 17 South/US 50 at Exit 313 and only using I-66 for the US 17 duplex) to US 17 South to I-95 South (at Exit 133) to I-295 (usually reliable when I-81 does not have problems, due to two accidents in Chambersburg I had to bail on this route back at Thanksgiving)

Absent of a wreck it is never faster to use US 17 north of I-66 with its very long stretch of 45 mph limit below US 50.

You will get stuck on 17 trying to get on 95 south and it will be slow to Exit 126.  An alternative here would be to stay 15-29 to Culpeper and take US 522 to I-64.  US 522 has some 40 mph curves south of US 33 but it is otherwise pretty quiet, albeit 2-lane.

I can't imagine #3 being at all useful at rush hour...

Mike
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74/171FAN

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Re: Harrisburg, PA to Richmond, VA
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2016, 09:48:59 PM »

Quote
2. I-81 South to I-66 East (possibly going straight to US 17 South/US 50 at Exit 313 and only using I-66 for the US 17 duplex) to US 17 South to I-95 South (at Exit 133) to I-295 (usually reliable when I-81 does not have problems, due to two accidents in Chambersburg I had to bail on this route back at Thanksgiving)

Absent of a wreck it is never faster to use US 17 north of I-66 with its very long stretch of 45 mph limit below US 50.

You will get stuck on 17 trying to get on 95 south and it will be slow to Exit 126.  An alternative here would be to stay 15-29 to Culpeper and take US 522 to I-64.  US 522 has some 40 mph curves south of US 33 but it is otherwise pretty quiet, albeit 2-lane.

I can't imagine #3 being at all useful at rush hour...

Mike
I guess I should presume that Winchester is not that bad then.  I did use the US 522 route once and had no problems there.

Due to my experiences being annoyed with I-81 around Roanoke, I have started to tend to travel at night to hopefully avoid traffic.  I am more-or-less looking for a worst-case scenario type route.  (that probably will not factor into this week if that coastal storm stays offshore as currently forecasted)

EDIT:  Anyone with useful information for the future should definitely post, but after seeing that cities in PA are having problems getting the snow off city streets I probably should just stick to major routes as much as possible for this week.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 07:37:01 AM by 74/171FAN »
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froggie

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Re: Harrisburg, PA to Richmond, VA
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 09:58:57 AM »

Quote
Absent of a wreck it is never faster to use US 17 north of I-66 with its very long stretch of 45 mph limit below US 50.

I've found them both to be a wash time-wise, but for the gas-conscious US 17 is 12 miles shorter than staying on 81 to 66.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Harrisburg, PA to Richmond, VA
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2016, 09:44:24 PM »

3. I-83 South to I-695 to I-97 to MD 3 (or US 50 West/US 301 South) to US 301 South to I-295 South (usually I would tend to skip VA 207 if I used this route-the backup on US 301/MD 5 South at Waldorf has basically killed this route for me)

I have found that this road can be congested through Brandywine and Waldorf, but not terribly so except on getaway days, when I-95 is catastrophically congested from Springfield to Richmond.

Just watch out for speed limit enforcement on U.S. 301 in Virginia (posted limit most of the way is 55 MPH).

  • Across King George County (first county on the Virginia side of the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge) by the SO and VSP;
  • At Port Royal between the Rappahannock River and U.S. 17;
  • Crossing Fort A. P. Hill (between Port Royal and Bowling Green, especially passing the regional jail); and
  • At Hanover Court House (speed limit drops there).

Even though most of U.S. 301 is two lane undivided between Bowling Green and I-295, I have never had to deal with any substantial congestion, even when I-95 is suffering from extreme congestion (even with freeway closures from a crash, usually at Va. 207 at Carmel Church/Ruther Glen).
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 09:48:04 PM by cpzilliacus »
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Harrisburg, PA to Richmond, VA
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2016, 09:45:50 PM »

Quote
Absent of a wreck it is never faster to use US 17 north of I-66 with its very long stretch of 45 mph limit below US 50.

I've found them both to be a wash time-wise, but for the gas-conscious US 17 is 12 miles shorter than staying on 81 to 66.

The solid citizens along that section of U.S. 17 have also gotten the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office to do a fair amount of speed limit enforcement there.
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