U.S. 1 starts out in southern Virginia as a rural route paralleling Interstate 85 from South Hill to Petersburg. The highway primarily serves local traffic through Mecklenburg, Brunswick and Dinwiddie Counties while through traffic uses I-85. A few stretches of the route were widened to four lanes before the freeway was built.

North through Petersburg and Colonial Heights and again at Richmond, U.S. 1 is vastly more urban. The route parallels I-95 from these cities northward to Alexandria, again serving generally local or commuter traffic while the bulk of through travelers stay along the heavily traveled freeway. Beyond Fredericksburg U.S. 1 is a congested suburban arterial route into Northern Virginia.

U.S. 1 Virginia Guides

U.S. 1 measures 197.42 miles north from the North Carolina line to the Potomac River at Arlington. U.S. 1 combines with Interstate 395 (Shirley Memorial Highway) northeast from Crystal City in Arlington into Washington, D.C.

Passed in March 2010, House Bill 530 designated all of U.S. 1 in Virginia as "Historic Route 1" as a way to promote the route for economic development and tourism.1

Interstate 595

U.S. 1 through Crystal City in Arlington is partially a limited access expressway. The elevated roadway was planned to be part of the unconstructed Interstate 595, a $30 million, 0.7 mile long spur south from I-395 to Washington National Airport (DCA). The controversial freeway was approved in 1965 with construction set to begin in 1976. As opponents to the plan garnered support, a court order halted work before any ground was broken. This lead highway officials to a February 1979 decision dropping I-595 in favor of a $20 million plan to add ramps at S 15th and S 18th Streets instead.2

U.S. 1 scenes
SR 637 (Old Indian Road) east meets U.S. 1 between the Meherrin River and Meredithville. U.S. 1 expands into a four lane highway on this stretch, a remnant from when U.S. 1 was the main route between Raleigh and Richmond. 06/01/12
SR 73 comprises a 0.78 mile long route overlaying Parham Road west from the cloverleaf interchange (Exit 83) with I-95 to U.S. 1 (Brook Road) at Glen Allen. 01/04/19
SR 606 (Mudd Tavern Road) meets U.S. 1 (Jefferson Davis Highway) at Thornburg west of the diamond interchange (Exit 118) with I-95. SR 606 continues west from Thornburg along Morris Road to Snell. 12/26/06
Curtis Drive east at Fraley Boulevard (U.S. 1) north and Graham Park Road east in Dumfries. U.S. 1 separates through the community on one way streets. 08/31/09
Prince Street east at U.S. 1 (Patrick Street) in Alexandria. 12/16/16

  1. "Bill to designate US 1 as Historic Route 1 Passes." http://chrispeace.com/2010/03/08/bill-to-designate-us-1-as-historic-route-1-passes/ March 8, 2010.
  2. "Va. Changes Design for Interstate." The Washington Post (DC), February 22, 1979.

Photo Credits:

  • 12/26/06 by AARoads.
  • 08/31/09 by Will Weaver.
  • 06/01/12 by AARoads.
  • 12/16/16 by AARoads.
  • 01/04/19 by AARoads.

Connect with:
Interstate 95
Interstate 295
Interstate 395 - Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway
Interstate 495 / Capital Beltway
U.S. 17
U.S. 58
U.S. 60
U.S. 250
U.S. 360
U.S. 460
State Route 7

Page Updated 05-06-2021.

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