Interstate 295 Virginia

Traveling south on Interstate 95 at Exit 86A, Junction Virginia Secondary 656 east to Atlee, a small map sign shows how Interstate 295 provides a bypass of Richmond, the capital city of Virginia, by using a route that passes to the east of the busy Richmond-Petersburg corridor. Photo taken 06/17/05.


Interstate 295 is the main Bypass of Petersburg and Richmond for Interstates 64 and 95. The freeway was originally intended to carry Interstate 95 signage, as the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike was clogged with through traffic. However, once the tolls were removed, Interstate 95 was no longer considered for relocation to a new, easterly route, so that route became part of Interstate 295. AASHTO formally endorsed the routing south to Peterburg on June 9, 1986. Prior to that, Interstate 295 was to be a complete, 360-degree beltway around Richmond. A beltway was later completed in effect by 2005 via Virginia 288 and State Route 895.

Also of interest is the Varina-Enon Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge over the James River. The $35.6-million bridge is similar to the Delaware 1 Chesapeake and Delaware Canal span in St. Georges, Delaware, and the Interstate 275 Sunshine Skyway Bridge of St. Petersburg, Florida.


The northern portion of Interstate 295 opened to traffic in 1981 at a cost of $60 million, with the federal government paying for 90% of the cost.3 Work on the initial stretch of freeway commenced in May 1976 near Mechanicsville.2 Construction of the $37.7-million segment between U.S. 60 and Virginia 5, east of Richmond, commenced in July of 1984 and was completed on October 7, 1988.1 Next to open was the Varina-Enon Bridge and a 6.8-mile portion of freeway between Virginia 5 and 10. Begun in March 1985, the $75-million project opened to traffic on July 19, 1990. Delays in road work followed a construction flaw where the Henrico County end of the Varina-Enon Bridge was four inches too low and needed adjustments that pushed the work back from a fall 1989 completion date.5

Interstate 295 was extended 5.6 miles southward from Virginia 10 to Virginia 36 when a $57.7-million project was completed on January 21, 1992.6 Tolls along the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike were removed on July 1, 1992 to coincide with the completion of Interstate 295. The final 9.8-mile section of the Richmond-Petersburg bypass opened on June 25, 1992 between Hopewell and Interstate 95. The route was to open on June 3, but officials from Petersburg had the date pushed back while tolls were still collected along Interstate 95 in the city.4

Highway Guides

Southern Terminus - Interstate 95 - south of Petersburg
Perspective from Interstate 295 south
In preparation for the southern terminus of Interstate 295 and merge onto Interstate 95 south, these guide signs advise motorists to move into the left lane. There are 35 miles between the upcoming interchange and the city of Emporia. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Exit 1 overhead on Interstate 295 southbound. The exit number applies only to the return ramp to Petersburg via Interstate 95 northbound. The merge for traffic onto Interstate 95 southbound uses a sweeping ramp. The ramp is so long that it takes Interstate 295 an additional mile to merge with Interstate 95. Photo taken 06/02/03.
A second reminder for southbound motorists destined for Interstate 95 to stay to the left ahead as Exit 1 departs to the right. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Exit 1 sign bridge on Interstate 295 southbound, one quarter of a mile from the northbound Interstate 95 ramp. The northern terminus of Interstate 85 is just five miles to the north. Interstate 295 is a useful bypass for Interstate 85 motorists who bypass Richmond. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Interstate 295 southbound at Exit 1/Interstate 95 north. The left two lanes reduce to one by the time they merge onto Interstate 95 southbound. Rocky Mount, North Carolina is another 92 miles to the south. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Continuing oh the long ramp to Interstate 95 southbound from Interstate 295 southbound. The next interchange for southbound motorists is Exit 45 for the parallel U.S. 301. Interstate 95 and U.S. 301 intermingle southward to the North Carolina border. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Perspective from Interstate 95 north
Entering the Petersburg metropolitan area on Interstate 95 northbound. The beginning of Interstate 295 occurs at Exit 46 in one mile. Photo taken 06/02/03.
This auxiliary guide sign for Interstate 295 includes the Petersburg area city of Hopewell and military installation Fort Lee. Colonial Williamsburg can be reached by taking Interstate 295 to Virginia 5 or Interstate 64 east. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Interstate 95 northbound, one half mile south of Interstate 295/Exit 46. Typically posted on Virginia Interstate highways, a VMS can be seen in the background. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Interstate 95/295 northbound split at Exit 46. Interstate 95 maintains a 65 mph speed limit while it bypasses Petersburg and Richmond to the east. The freeway widens to six lanes to the east of Richmond and is a good alternative to the often congested Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike between Interstates 85 and 64. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 95 north
Interstate 85 5 miles at Petersburg, VA
Interstate 64
overlap begin
29 miles at Richmond, VA
Interstate 64
overlap end/
Interstate 195
33 miles at Richmond, WV
Perspective from Interstate 95 south
Interstate 95 southbound at Exit 48A/Wagner Road east, 1.75 miles north of Interstate 295/Exit 46, Wagner Road was touted as Interstate 795 on the 1988 official Virginia State Map. This plan obviously never came to fruition. Otherwise the highway is a divided surface street between U.S. 301 and U.S. 460 in south Petersburg. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (07/01).
Interstate 95 southbound, one half mile from Interstate 295 north/Exit 46. The southern terminus of Interstate 295 interchange features a left-hand off-ramp from Interstate 95 and a left-hand merge from Interstate 295 south. While this occurs Interstate 95 reduces to one lane for a short spell between the on and off-ramps to/from Interstate 295. Vidcap taken 08/26/96.
Interstate 295 returns to the north for traffic interests to Hopewell and Richmond. This ramp does receive traffic from Interstate 85 motorists who are traveling to Washington, D.C. and other points north. Note that Interstate 95 southbound motorists are to use the center lane only. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (07/01).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 95 south
Interstate 40 146 miles at Benson, NC
Interstate 20 266 miles at Florence, SC
Interstate 26 340 miles near Holly Hill, SC
Northern Terminus - Interstate 64 - Short Pump
Perspective from Interstate 295 north
After the Interstate 95, U.S. 1, and U.S. 33 interchanges, northbound Interstate 295 angles to the southwest as it meets Exits 51A-B (Nuckols Road) and finally Interstate 64 at Exits 53A-B. Photo taken 06/17/05.
The end of northbound (westbound) Interstate 295 is announced on this white sign, which indicates the freeway ends in one mile (at Interstate 64). At the interchange, stub ramps for previously planned but never constructed southerly extension were evident; only the westbound remains. These stubs were abandoned when plans to extend the beltway southwest were shifted westward for the 2004-completed Virginia 288 freeway. Photo taken 06/17/05.
The left two lanes of Interstate 295 will end as the freeway approaches its junction with Interstate 64 at Exits 53A-B. The first exit connects to Interstate 64 west to Charlottesville, while the second ramp connects to Interstate 64 east to Richmond and to U.S. 250. Note the addition of the May 2009-completed flyover and sound walls in the second photo. Photos taken 06/17/05 and by Will Weaver (05/31/09).
Westbound Interstate 295 splits, with the first ramp connecting to Interstate 64 west at Exit 53A. The last exit is for Exit 53B, Interstate 64 west. There is a stub end for Interstate 295 to continue south, but it does not connect to anything. Follow Interstate 64 west to Virginia 288 south to bypass Richmond and return to Interstate 95 south. Photos taken 06/17/05 and by Will Weaver (05/31/09).
Two lanes join Interstate 64 west toward Interstate 81 near Lexington. The Interstate 295 mainline otherwise defaults onto a loop ramp for Interstate 64 east. The flyover completed in May 2009 replaces the former cloverleaf ramp from Interstate 64 east. The former ramp was removed as was the stub and eastbound mainline through to the original I-64 eastbound on-ramp to I-295 east. Photo taken by Will Weaver (05/31/09).
Perspective from Interstate 64 east
Leaving the stack interchange with Virginia 288 and Goochland County, Interstate 64 enters Henrico County and approaches the eastbound beginning of Interstate 295. Photo taken by Will Weaver (06/28/09).
2006-09 construction upgraded the partial-cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 295 to include a new two-lane flyover from Interstate 64 east at Exit 177. This expansion also included the addition of a third eastbound lane. Photo taken by Will Weaver (06/28/09).
Nearing the Pouncey Tract Road overpass, Interstate 64 east expands to four overall lanes for a two-lane ramp to Interstate 295 east. Interstate 295 provides a long distance bypass for Interstate 64 eastbound destinations such as Williamsburg and Virginia Beach. Photo taken by Will Weaver (06/28/09).
Exit 177 departs Interstate 64 east for Interstate 295. Interstate 295 travels ten miles east to junction Interstate 95 for connections north to Fredericksburg and Washington. Photo taken by Will Weaver (06/28/09).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 64 east
Interstate 95
overlap begin/
Interstate 195
9 miles at Richmond, VA
Interstate 95
overlap end
13 miles at Richmond, VA
Interstate 295 23 miles at Seven Pines, VA
Perspective from Interstate 64 west
Westbound Interstate 64 at the Exit 178 cloverleaf interchange with U.S. 250 at Short Pump. The northern terminus of Interstate 64 is just 0.75 miles west of this sign bridge. Photo taken by Will Weaver (06/28/09).
Just past the merge of U.S. 250 traffic onto Interstate 64 west is this Exit 177 overhead for Interstate 295 south. The freeway receives control points of its connections: Washington for Interstate 95 north and Norfolk for Interstate 64 east. Interchange reconstruction expanded Interstate 64 west to include a dedicated lane to Exit 177; the older guide sign was overlayed with an exit-only placard by 2009. Photo taken by Will Weaver (06/28/09).
A sign that Interstate 64 is exiting the Richmond metropolitan area is that the freeway reduces from six to four lanes. Exit 177 for Interstate 295 south departs to the right as Interstate 64 continues another 56 miles westward to Charlottesville. Exit 177 was expanded into a two-lane off-ramp from the flyover construction project. Photo taken by Will Weaver (06/28/09).
Approaching the new flyover ramp from Interstate 64 east to Interstate 295 east. The $49.1-million project was completed in May 2009. Photo taken by Will Weaver (06/28/09).
Next Three Interstate Junctions for Interstate 64 west
Interstate 64
overlap begin
90 miles at Staunton, VA
Interstate 64
overlap end
121 miles at Lexington, VA
Interstate 77
overlap begin
247 miles at Beckley, WV


  1. "I-295 SECTION EAST OF CITY TO OPEN TODAY." Richmond Times-Dispatch, October 7, 1988.
  2. "BOARD AWARDS I-295 CONTRACT." Richmond Times-Dispatch,December 20, 1990.
  4. "STATE OPENS LAST PORTION OF I-295." Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 26, 1992.
  5. "NEW I-295 BRIDGE OPENS TO TRAFFIC AS WORK GOES ON." Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 19, 1990.
  6. "I-295 SECTION TO HOPEWELL IS OPENED." Richmond Times-Dispatch,January 21, 1992.

Page Updated October 31, 2011.

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