Interstate 195 in Virginia is a short spur route that links Interstates 64 and 95 north of Downtown Richmond with the center city. At its southern end, Interstate 195 splits into the tolled Powhite Parkway (Virginia 76) and the tolled Downtown Expressway (Virginia 195). Through traffic is directed onto Virginia 195, which reconnects with Interstate 95 south of downtown.
Interstate 195 opened in 1975.1 The route of I-195 was approved by AASHTO on June 9, 1986.
Plans for the Richmond Expressway System were announced in October 1966. As originally envisioned, the $90 to 95 million system would consist of four segments:
Beltline Expressway - a four to six lane route running northeast from near Willow Oaks on the south banks of the James River to Bryan Park on the North Side of the city.
Downtown Expressway - a six lane roadway angling southeast from the Beltline Expressway along Idlewood Avenue to the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike near Main Street Station.
Powhite Parkway - an expressway linking Chippenham Parkway in Chesterfield County to the Beltline Expressway at Willow Oaks. This route would follow the Powhite creekbed and Southern Railway line.
Riverside Parkway - paralleling the south bank of the James River, between the Powhite Parkway and Huguenot Bridge. Provisions were considered to extend this leg into west Henrico County, including a bridge across the James to the west of the Huguenot Bridge.
Tolls collected on the expressway system were proposed mostly at 15 cents, with selection locations levying either 10 or 25 cents. Speed limits were to be set at 50 miles per hour.2
Southern Terminus - Virginia 195 - downtown Richmond, Virginia
Perspective from Interstate 195 south
Interstate 195 breaks away from the tolled Powhite Parkway/Virginia 76 beginning and turns eastward toward the tolled Downtown Expressway/Virginia 195. This photograph shows the last pull-through panel of Interstate 195 at the Rosewood Avenue off-ramp. Photo taken 10/13/01.
Transitioning to Virginia 195 eastbound from Interstate 195 southbound. An advisory signage for the upcoming toll plaza is in place. The signage displays Trucks - Buses, Cars with Trailers - Keep Right. Photo taken 10/13/01.
Approaching the toll plaza for the Downtown Expressway. No official end sign is in place along Interstate 195 eastbound. Traffic continuing east reaches Interstate 95 in approximately two miles. Photo taken 10/13/01.
Northern Terminus - Interstate 64 and 95 - north of Richmond, Virginia
Perspective from Interstate 195 north
Northbound on Interstate 195, 0.75 miles from the westbound Interstate 64 off-ramp. The next interchange is with Virginia 197/Laburnum Avenue. The Virginia 197 interchange also serves a greyhound bus station and amtrak station. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Interstate 195 carries six lanes on its duration west of downtown Richmond. This photo looks at the Laburnum Avenue off-ramp and lane allocation for the northern terminus with Interstates 64 and 95. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Interstate 195's travel lanes default onto Interstate 64 westbound as it exits the city of Richmond en route to Charlottesville. Traffic to Interstate 95 north or the Interstate 64/95 overlap must use the right lane. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Split of the Interstate 95 northbound ramp from the Interstate 64 east/Interstate 95 south ramp. These exits receive no exit numbers as Interstate 195 in general does not use any. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Gore point of the Interstate 95/64 east ramp split. The interchange features a tri-level stack over Interstate 64 eastbound. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Ramp merge onto Interstate 95 northbound from Interstate 195. Interstate 95 departs the city limits of Richmond within the next mile and travels northward to Washington, D.C. in 101 miles. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Perspective from Interstate 64 east
Now traveling east on Interstate 64, the exit for Interstate 195 is signed alongside the pending junction with Interstate 95 north. After this interchange, Interstate 195 turns south into downtown Richmond, while Interstate 64 east and Interstate 95 south combine to skirt the northeastern edge of downtown. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (08/08/04).
Eastbound Interstate 64 approaches the merge with Interstate 95. At the western end of the overlap, Interstate 195 begins. Note that from this direction Exit 186 serves not only Interstate 195 but also Larburnum Avenue (Virginia 197). Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (08/08/04).
The right lane becomes exit only for Interstate 195 south, while the left lane becomes exit only for Interstate 95 north. The middle two lanes will continue east on Interstate 64. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (08/08/04).
Direct ramps to southbound Interstate 195 are provided from eastbound Interstate 64 and from southbound Interstate 95. The middle lanes continue east on Interstate 64 and south on Interstate 95. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (08/08/04).
Once on the transition ramp (as seen from Interstate 64 east) from eastbound Interstate 64 to southbound Interstate 195, the ramp divides, with the left lane connecting to Interstate 195 south and the right lane connecting to Virginia 197/Laburnum Boulevard south. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (08/08/04).
Passing under the ramps from southbound Interstate 95 to Interstate 195 and related transition ramps in the Interstate 64, 95, and 195 interchange, a left exit provides the connection from eastbound Interstate 64 to northbound Interstate 95. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (08/08/04).
Perspective from Interstate 95 south
The first signage for the Interstate 195 split on southbound Interstate 95 is located three miles north of the Interstate 64 junction, just before Exit 82, U.S. 301/Chamberlayne Avenue. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (07/01/05).
Shortly thereafter is the lane allocation for Interstate 64, Interstate 95, and Interstate 195. Interstate 64 west receives no control city due to the routing of Charlottesville traffic onto Interstate 295 westbound five miles to the north. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (07/01/05).
The right lane serves the connection from southbound Interstate 95 to Interstate 195 south; a new right lane (auxiliary) comes onto the freeway to serve as the exit only lane for Interstate 64 west. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (07/01/05).
The aforementioned new right lane will serve as the connection to Interstate 64 west; the number three lane (second from right) connects to Interstate 195 south. Meanwhile, Interstate 64 east and Interstate 95 south traffic should use the three left lanes. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (07/01/05).
Southbound merge of Interstate 95 onto Interstate 64 eastbound. Exit 79 serves both Interstate 64 westbound and Interstate 195 southbound traffic interests. The ramps to the right split around the bend for the aforementioned Interstates. Each receives only one lane. There are several signs for the Interstate 64-95 overlap that feature Thru Traffic in place of a control city. The two highways share a four mile overlap north of downtown and split toward Norfolk and Petersburg respectively. Photo taken by Carter Buchanan (07/01/05).
Perspective from Interstates 64 west & 95 north
The Interstate 64/95 overlap westbound, 0.75 miles before the split at Exit 79. Interstate 95 maintains six lanes through north Richmond through to Fredericksburg. Photo taken 06/01/03.
Now within one-half mile of the Interstate 64/95 split and southbound beginning of Interstate 195. 64 miles separate this split with the city of Charlottesville. Photo taken 06/01/03.
Interstate 95 northbound at Exit 79. Interstate 195 will branch southward from Interstate 64 within one quarter mile. In conjunction with the Powhite Parkway (Virginia 76), Interstate 195 serves Bon Air and other suburban areas of Chesterfield County. Photo taken 06/01/03.
Now on Interstate 64 westbound, Interstate 195 receives its own I-64 based number of Exit 186 and departs southward. Exit 185 for U.S. 33 is situated nearby in 1.25 miles. Photo taken 06/01/03.