Northern Virginia Relocation-Take a Drive Down Shirley Highway

By
Real Estate Agent with Integrity Real Estate Group

Shirley Highway in Northern Virginia
It is obvious when you look at the large overhead signs, I-95 is the interstate running outside the beltway and I-395 runs inside the beltway to DC. However if someone asks you how to get to DC and you say take Shirley Highway then you know you are a "native" of Northern Virginia. Officially Shirley Highway runs from the Pentagon to just north of Route 1 in Woodbridge. The start of the construction of the highway started in 1941 and lasted until 1952 when the four lane road was completed. Originally known as the Fort Belvoir bypass the road was renamed for Henry Shirley who was the first the first highway commissioner in Virginia.

Our first family home was just outside DC on Shirley Highway in the Parkfairfax neighborhood. Built in 1941 as an apartment complex to alleviate a housing shortage for government workers the neighborhood today is thriving condominium complex known for it's hilly streets, landscaped courtyards and ease of commuting back to the city.

Parkfairfax-Two Past Presidents Called it Home and So Could You

A few more miles down Shirley Highway is the famous or is that the infamous Springfield Interchange? Before there was a need for 50 ramps and 20 lanes to get commuters past Springfield there was an airport instead. In 1945 part of the area that is now part of the north bound lanes of Shirley Highway (I-95) was the unpaved 3000 foot runway that was part of Springfield Airport.

What Happens When You Build a Highway Instead of An Airport?


Even after the airport disappeared in the early 1950's Springfield was still a rural community just being discovered by families.
With new homes in central Springfield starting at $16,000 it was the perfect place to move and still be able to work in the city. Families flocked to the area and over the years the small sleepy area grew and spread into North Springfield, West Springfield and even though there isn't officially an East Springfield development went that direction as well.

Springfield Virginia-Homer Simpson Doesn't Live Here

As prices in closer in areas in Fairfax County began to escalate and families started looking for bigger and newer the migration further south on Shirley Highway to Prince William County began. Commuting options began to expand and along with it the neighborhoods of Lake Ridge began to grow. Starting in the late 1970's when the visitor center opened at Old Bridge and Harbor Drive until today Lake Ridge has been a popular choice for anyone who wanted to live in large community with a "small town" feel.

Lake Ridge-Avoiding the Cookie Cutter Home Syndrome

Now Shirley Highway is a thing of the past. The small green signs are still there if you look for them. They are dwarfed by the the large signs for I-95 or I-395 headed north and south from DC into Virginia. Your GPS won't direct you to take Shirley Highway but a native of the area may. Don't be alarmed they haven't lost their minds it is just a habit that is hard to break.

If you are interested in learning more about any of the neighborhoods along the 17.3 mile stretch of the original Shirley Highway give me a call at 703-346-2213. No hassle, no pressure just straight talk about whether now is the right time for you to buy a new home in Northern Virginia.

Posted by

                                   Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate

If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations. 

Military Relocation Professional


Check out www.varealestatetalk.com and www.cjrealtygroup.com for more information.

Integrity Real Estate Group
 
Real People*Real Life*Real Estate

Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia



 

 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
Virginia Fairfax County Springfield
Groups:
RE/MAX Active Rain Bloggers
Northern Virginia Real Estate
Dedicated Bloggers
Localism Success and Accountability Group
Local Expert
Tags:
military relocation
northern virginia relocation
fort belvoir relocation
shirley highway

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ambassador
2,726,473
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

HA!  When I have a slip of the tongue and refer to Interstate 95 as "Shirley Highway", folks have no frame of reference. 

The term "Shirley Highway" either dates one, as in my case, or identifies a native, as in your case.  One way or another, it shows a deep familiarity with the area which is a definate plus when speaking with folks about the transportation alternatives from Fredericksburg to DC.

Excellent Cindy.  I love it. 

BTW, before they improved the access and egress lanes onto and off of the highway, I referred to it as "The Road From Hell!".  Or, after a gentleman was struck and killed after breaking down, "The Killer Highway".  In fact, until they widened the highway to replace a shoulder that was used as a traffic lane for some time, I refused to drive on it with buyers in my vehicle.  We just chugged up and down Route 1. 

Oct 20, 2009 11:17 PM #1
Ambassador
1,022,692
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Cindy, I want my blog to be just like yours when it grows up.  This is fabulous!

Oct 20, 2009 11:37 PM #2
Rainmaker
90,996
ERIC TRAUTMANN
Weichert Realtors HQ - Denville, NJ
I Know NJ, I Sell it Everyday!

cindy, I have not thought of adding local color or flavor like this to my blog...very nice.

Oct 21, 2009 12:56 AM #3
Rainmaker
2,433,062
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty, Martha Hilton, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Cindy, WOW this brings back many memories for me. I moved to Northern VA in 1971 and retired from DOC in 2006 and built our retirement home in Lewisburg WV. We go back to VA every month and I do not miss the traffic or people.  This is indeed a great post.

Oct 21, 2009 01:14 AM #4
Rainmaker
129,896
Carolyn Shipp
Source 1 Real Estate - Mineral Wells, TX
Mineral Wells Texas Real Estate

I have many memories of the area.  I was raised in the Woodbridge area until the age of 12 and then moved to Burke.  I graduated from West Springfield High School in '82.  I wouldn't trade growing up there for anything.  I loved the area and really enjoyed going to the Smithsonians on the weekend.  For us, Washington was just a 30 minute trip up the highway.  I even remember going to the skating rink in Dumfries...the movies at Marumsco Plaza...I wonder if it is even still there...

Great post.  I lived in Northern Virginia for over 20 years and still love the state today!  I'm also still a Redskins fan!  

Oct 21, 2009 02:09 AM #5
Ambassador
457,796
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

Cindy ~ The way you linked this post to your previous blogs is sooooo cool! Very impressive and I agree with Margaret, I want my blog to be like yours when I grow up!

Oct 21, 2009 07:31 AM #6
Ambassador
1,892,368
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Lenn-and those of us who have been around the area for awhile also know that the "mixing bowl" is not in Springfield but is actually the interchange at the Pentagon.  I learned early on in my driving days to just floor it and could cross six lanes of traffic getting in and out of Springfield without a problem.  Don't know why the had to spend multi-millions to make it easier for out of towners :-)

Oct 21, 2009 08:54 AM #7
Ambassador
1,892,368
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Margaret-I feel like a drug commercial....I learned from reading your posts.  Looking forward to seeing you next week.

Oct 21, 2009 08:55 AM #8
Ambassador
1,892,368
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Eric-I've never had anyone who called me to assist them buying or selling home that complained about my blogging style.  I think if we know our area adding the personal stories helps make connections.

Oct 21, 2009 08:56 AM #9
Ambassador
1,892,368
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Carolyn-no movies at Marumsco Plaza.  It is getting ready for a total redo (long overdue).  I graduated from Lee and both of my kids graduated from West Springfield.  The area has changed over the years but it is still the only place I know to call home.

Oct 21, 2009 08:58 AM #10
Ambassador
1,892,368
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Rebecca-you are fortunate not to have to deal with the DC traffic everyday anymore.  You've moved to "gods country" and I'm sure waking up everyday in WV is a treat.

Oct 21, 2009 09:00 AM #11
Ambassador
1,892,368
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Terrie-from what I've learned about SEO on Active Rain linking our current posts to our old posts is good for the Google juice.

Oct 21, 2009 09:01 AM #12
Rainmaker
563,647
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Cindy -- I lived in N. Va for a long time and used to call it both Shirley Highway and 395.  When I moved to the area in 1983, I could live my life without the fear of rush hour -- sure, there was traffic and backups, but not like there was in 1993 or even 2002 when I left.  I remember the Springfield interchange being fairly easy to get around and when they envisioned 10 years of construction and when it was finally done, it was like a city unto itself it was so massive.

Boy...how I wish I had bought say 20 townhomes in various communities back in the mid-80s like a friend of mine did, rented them out, took out 15 year mortgages on them, and then sold them in 2000-04 for about 400-600% more and he retired!

Oct 21, 2009 01:10 PM #13
Ambassador
1,892,368
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Chris-the 10 years of construction was annoying and the resulting interchange didn't eliviate any backups during rush hour!  So much for that brilliant idea.

Oct 21, 2009 11:36 PM #14
Rainmaker
350,299
Aaron Vaughn | Builder | Investor
Conifer Homes - Buda, TX
If the deal makes sense, the cash will follow.

Take a drive down Shirley Highway, huh? Wow, um, that sounds suggestive to me. You? Oh well, it's a nice post anyway. We appreciate it.

Oct 22, 2009 05:31 AM #15
Ambassador
1,892,368
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Aaron-thanks for stopping by.  Shirley and I appreciate it :-)

Oct 22, 2009 07:58 AM #16
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Ambassador
1,892,368

Cindy Jones

Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
Have A Northern Virginia Real Estate Question?
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information