If you live in Fairfax County then you may already know the answer to this little riddle. It is the famous or is that infamous Springfield Interchange. This intersection of 95/395/495 has been undergoing major construction for seven, yes that is right, seven years.
So what did this little $675,000,000 project accomplish? Good question. Reports have it that drivers will know be able to shave an incredible 30 seconds off of their commute from DC through Springfield. Whoopee! I grew up 4 blocks from where this little intersection grew into the monstrosity that it is today. In fact, I learned to drive zipping 70 miles an hour crossing 6 lanes of traffic. Personally I never saw the issue. Step on the gas and get out of my way.
In order to accomplish this little feat, homes closest to the old "Shirley Highway" in the had to be torn down and a huge sound wall constructed. This did block some of the noise for homeowners on Amherst, Bison & Cabin John Roads but also left them with a mass of grey concrete staring them in the face. Homeowners in the these neighborhoods have had to deal with the overnight construction lights, noise and dust for the seven years that this process has been going on.
The upside of the final phase of the intersection being completed is plans for a multi-phase Springfield revitalization process are now being finalized. Designed by KSI, the developers of the Reston Town Center, the Springfield Mid-Town project is designed to make Springfield a destination point rather than a pass through for commuters heading to points south.
So if you are sitting on the south bound 495 to 95 fly over, keep an eye for large cranes getting ready to take down the 14 story Tower Building that has been interchange landmark since the 1970's. When you see them in place you will know the Mixing Bowl project is finally finished.
****UPDATE-KSI Project is on hold and Tower Building will remain standing for now!***