Accidents way up on I-95 through construction zone

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -- Driving through construction zones can be pretty dangerous not only for you, but the workers too.

At a work zone on Interstate 95 north over Lombardy Street, you may not see any work on top of the bridge. But, underneath, it's a completely different story. It all has one lane on I-95 north shut down for worker safety.

That closure is causing quite a traffic mess. You can see it almost everyday from our Troutman Sanders camera, with traffic backing up to the James River Bridge.

These traffic issues are made worse because of dozens of accidents near the construction zone. "A lot of these accidents are attributed to people waiting until the last minute to change lanes and following too close causing rear end accidents," said Virginia State Police Sgt. Thomas Molnar.

The numbers don't lie. Since construction began on the Lombardy Street Bridge on April 19, there have been 39 crashes in and around the work on the northbound side. That's up from just 12 crashes during the same time last year.

Those numbers don't even include at least two accidents this morning, like the one our camera caught around 7 a.m., just before the merge zone.

There was another accident last week, when a tractor trailer sat on top of the jersey wall, on the southbound side, right next to the construction.

"Avoid being right on top of each other, increase the following distance and pay attention to the signs," advises Molnar.

Don't forget, from Bells Road to Parham Road, on both sides of I-95, it's considered a highway safety zone. That runs right through the construction zone on Lombardy, and if you get a ticket in that area, you will face increased fines.

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