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The Richmond-Petersburg metropolitan area is located approximately two hours south of downtown Washington D.C. on Interstate 95. Unlike D.C., the Interstate highway system through Richmond is complete, with immediate access to the downtown areas of both cities.
Richmond is the capital of Virginia, located on the James River. Due to the depth of the river, Richmond has a port with access to Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean downriver. With over 43 inches of rainfall and 14 inches of snow annually, the river is consistently deep and wide. Served by I-64 and I-95, Richmond is at the crossroads of Virginia, with access to Hampton Roads to the southeast and the nation’s capital to the north. One of the older cities in the country, Richmond was founded in 1737.
Petersburg, located 25 miles south of Richmond, is located on the Appomattox River, a tributary to the James River. Much smaller than its cosmopolitan neighbor to the north, Petersburg is the northern terminus of Interstate 85 where it ties into I-95. Connecting the two cities, Interstate 95 follows the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike, a former toll road that was converted to a toll-free road in 1992 once the debt from the highway was paid.