US 1 in Virginia

By | October 18, 2022


US 1
Get started Palmer Springs
End Arlington
Length 198 mi
Length 319 km
North Carolina

  • South Hill
  • Petersburg
  • Richmond
  • Ashland
  • Fredericksburg
  • triangle
  • Dale City
  • Alexandria

District of Columbia

US 1 is a US Highway in the US state of Virginia. The road forms a north-south route through the east of the state and parallels Interstate 85 and Interstate 95 interstates and has a minimum of 2×2 lanes for most of the route. The road connects the centers of Petersburg, Richmond and Washington DC. US 1 is 319 kilometers long.

  • ElectronicsMatter: State facts of Virginia, covering history, geography, demography, economics, politics, and administrative division of Virginia.

Travel directions

US 1/58 at South Hill.

Southern Virginia

US 1 in North Carolina comes from Raleigh and crosses the Virginia border at Palmer Springs. The road then runs west of Interstate 85 and crosses the Roanoke River, which consists of water reservoirs here. The area through which US 1 runs has quite a lot of forest and is flat. At South Hill you cross US 58. The road then crosses I-85 and then continues just south of it, heading northeast. After about 25 kilometers both roads cross again, but US 1 always remains a short distance from I-85 and here is mostly a single lane road, with a few pieces that count 2×2 lanes. On the west side of the city of Petersburg, US 460. joinsfrom Lynchburg in the west for a short double numbering. The road then runs through the center of Petersburg and then turns north. US 460 continues toward Norfolk in the southeast and US 301 joins US 1 from Emporia.


Both roads then run north, with 2×2 lanes and parallel to Interstate 95. On the south side of the capital Richmond, one crosses State Route 288, Richmond’s western bypass. The suburbs here are still sparsely built-up, with many forest areas. However, the area is an industrial corridor. It then crosses State Route 150, a southern bypass of Richmond. One then crosses US 360. After that, you cross the James River and enter downtown Richmond, which consists of high-rise buildings. Here are a number of important intersections a short distance away, first connecting with Interstate 195, then crossing US 33and the I-95 junction here is double-numbered with Interstate 64. You then enter the northern neighborhoods and suburbs of the city and cross I-95 again. Via a cloverleaf one crosses the very spacious Interstate 295, the ring road of the agglomeration. The US 301 has now turned off towards Bowling Green and the US 1 forms an individual route again.

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Central Virginia

US 1 near Fredericksburg.

North of Richmond there are quite a few villages on the route, and US 1 has 2×2 lanes here continuously. Interstate 95 usually runs parallel for no more than a mile. This area is also densely wooded and flat. You then reach Fredericksburg, which has a core of only about 20,000 inhabitants, but has a fairly extensive suburban area around it that does not belong to a place and also falls under the Washington DC metropolitan area. In Fredericksburg, one crosses I-95 and the road continues east of it. The US 17 is also crossed here. The road then moves closer and closer to the Potomac River estuary, a wide mouth of the river in Chesapeake Bay. The area is becoming more and more urbanized, due to the area of ​​influence ofWashington, DC Passing Quantico, where a naval base is located. Then you really get into the Washington metropolitan area.

Washington Metropolitan Area

The 14th Street Bridge over the Potomac River between Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia.

Washington is not in Virginia, but the many suburbs are and US 1 runs through it, with 2×2 lanes. This area still consists of suburbs with relatively few inhabitants, with which the area is littered, only closer to Washington are the larger suburbs. US 1 will then have 2×3 lanes and will be the primary access route for this area on the west bank of the Potomac River. Then follows the connection with the Washington ring road, the Interstate 495. This connection consists of a maze of connecting roads and is one of the largest between a highway and a non-motorway. Then one enters the older suburb of Alexandria, which has about 130,000 inhabitants and is a center in itself. The road runs through downtown in 2×3 lanes and then enters Arlington, Washington’s largest suburb with over 200,000 residents. The road here runs through the Crystal City district, a high-rise area. The road then becomes a freeway with one grade separated intersection before US 1 merges with Interstate 395, past the Pentagon, after which the highway splits into three lanes and crosses the Potomac River, also the border with the District of Columbia, via 3 bridges. TheUS 1 in the District of Columbia then continues into the US capital.


US 1’s predecessor was the Jefferson Davis Highway, an auto trail established in 1913 that ran from Arlington, Virginia to San Diego, California, through an arc through the southeastern United States. In 1922, the Jefferson Davis Highway was officially established by the state of Virginia as running from the 14th Street Bridge over the Potomac River in Arlington to the North Carolina border south of Clarksville. In 1918, this route was also numbered State Route 1, which was changed to State Route 31 in 1923. About 1924 the terminus was changed from south of Clarksville to south of South Hill. US 1 created in 1926 also ran on this new route.

North Carolina – Petersburg

The route of US 1 in Virginia has not changed significantly since then. However, large parts of the route have been widened, US 1 was one of the most important roads in Virginia before the construction of the Interstate Highways. Most of the southern section between the North Carolina and Petersburg borders has been widened to 3 lanes in a 2+1 configuration, but has not been upgraded further. This route has numerous land connections and built-up areas. Between 1965 and 1970, Interstate 85 was opened parallel to US 1 between the North Carolina and Petersburg border.

Petersburg – Richmond

In 1925, the Martin Luther King Jr. opened. Memorial Bridge over the Appomatox River near Petersburg and Colonial Heights. In 1934, the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge opened over the James River in Richmond, originally a toll bridge. US 1 was an important link between Petersburg and Richmond, and a corridor of activity. This part has been widened to a narrow 4-lane road, without lane separation. Interstate 95. opened in 1958already parallel to US 1 between the two cities. In the 1980s, the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge in Richmond was replaced by a wider 2×3 lane bridge. That US 1 was an important route through the city of Richmond can still be seen today because US 1 has 2×3 lanes through the city center, wider than many other streets in the center.

Richmond – Arlington

The interchange between I-95 and US 1 at Alexandria.

In 1906 the first bridge opened over the Potomac River between Arlington and Washington, D.C. This was simply called the ‘Highway Bridge’. In 1950, a second bridge, the 14th Street Bridge, opened, handling traffic only to Washington. The old bridge from 1906 then only handled traffic towards Arlington. In 1962, the old bridge from 1906 was replaced by a modern 4-lane bridge. In 1972, a third 2×2 lane bridge opened from the express lanes of I-395. US 1 splits over these bridges, the west bridge handles traffic from US 1 to Arlington, the middle bridge handles traffic to the express lanes of I-395, and the east bridge handles traffic from US 1 to Washington.

Before the construction of I-95, US 1 was the primary through traffic connection between Richmond and Washington. This road was widened in its entirety to 4 lanes early on, often on a narrow profile without physical separation between the two driving directions. Between 1963 and 1965, I-95 opened parallel to US 1, which ceased to be of importance to through traffic. However, due to increasing suburbanization around Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Northern Virginia, the road remained very busy.

The biggest upgrade was the passage through Arlington, which is a wide 2×3 lane urban arterial. This section has a grade-separated connection to Pentagon City and a grade-separated connection to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. In the older city of Alexandria, US 1 splits into two one-way streets.

The connection to I-95/I-495 on the south side of Alexandria was originally a clover turbine. With the widening of I-95, the Springfield Interchange and the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge, this interchange was also reconstructed between 2003 and 2009. Due to the parallel structure on the ring road, this is one of the most complex connections between a motorway and a regular city road in the United States. Between 2015 and 2017, US 1 was modernized through Fort Belvoir and widened from 1×4 to 2×3 lanes.

US 1 in Virginia