Fun with Highways: Springfield Interchange (“The Mixing Bowl”)

Reader Beth @ 990 Square recommended that we check out “The Mixing Bowl” on the Washington D.C. Beltway. Here it is:

[Click to enlarge.]

The Springfield Interchange (as it is more formally known), is in northern Virginia and connects I-95 coming from the south to the beltway (I-495, left to right in the image) and I-395 north to downtown Washington, D.C. Part of the reason this interchange looks as complex as it does is that it was recently rebuilt, and contains the “ghosts” of the old interchange. Consider the following diagram:

[Image from Wikimedia Commons.]

The blue lines are the current interchange, while the red lines represent the pre-construction roadways. As one can see, several of the “red” pieces are still visible, such as the loop and ramps in the upper-right quadrant.

It seems the construction is not completely done, particularly along the beltway where there is still a lot of work going on. Or at least that was the case when I traveled through the interchange late on a Sunday night this past summer and got stuck for several hours.