VA Rte. 17

Old Apr 1st, 2005, 09:04 AM
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VA Rte. 17

I posted this question a few days ago, but it seems to have vanished into cyberspace.

I'm interested in knowing driving conditions (congestion/controlled access etc.) on Rte. 17 VA southbound from I -66 connecting to I-95. Are there times of day when congestion is brutal?
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 10:40 AM
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Route 17 is a four lane divided highway. You will get on it in Marshall as you exit I-66 and connect with I-95 in Falmouth. It bypasses Warrenton, and you may have a little traffic in the Opal area, and some traffic as you near Falmouth. It is country the entire stretch, mostly cattle, horse and dairy farms.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 05:21 AM
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Thx ronkala; Sounds like a possibility for bypassing Washington unless you know of a better route from i-81S connecting to i-95 heading to Hilton Head?
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 07:44 AM
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Just be careful wehn traveling on I-81, especially in Virginia. Lots of semis, lots of speeding, and LOTS of radar.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 09:13 AM
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we use rt 17 all the time to bypass DC traffic but it depends where you are going. Traffic gets bad around rush hour at the 95 juntion in Fredricksburg. If you are catching I81 north you would continue on US 15 through Leesburg VA and all the way through Maryland hooking up w I81 in Penn.
If you are trying to bypass DC and catch back up with I95 north of DC you would follow US15 to Fredrick Maryland and hook up with I70 east to the Baltimore Beltway I695 - go north for a few miles and I95 north splits off.

if you are going somewhere on I66 I would still hop on US 15(3-4 miles) - you avoid traffic and get on highway I66 much much faster

We use these routes often as we are smack dab in the middle and the DC Beltway is best avoided

note- US 15 has several 2 lane sections and the truckers know this route too
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 09:53 AM
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Sorry folks -- guess I wasn't specific enough. We're picking up I-81 southbound in PA then trying to skirt Washington to pick up I-95 south to Hilton Head but didn't want to go as far south as I-64, if 66 & #17 was a viable alternative. We'll try to get through the Fredericksburg junction before late afternoon. Next question -- best to stop around Winchester or are there services/hotels on Rte 17? Would prefer not to stop @ Fredericksburg.

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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 10:14 AM
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Bert, for hotels go to freetrip.com enter your starting and finishing points and check off the hotel price range you are interested in. Works like a charm and you can use your own source if making reservations, once you decide where to stop.

I live 15 minutes south of the I-81/I-66 merge, and use I-66/rte 17 when going to Richmond. There are hotels in Wichester, Stephens City and Middletown on I-81 prior to I-66. There is at least one in Warrenton. After that it would be in the Falmouth/ Fredericksburg area.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 03:20 PM
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jump off I 81 south near gettysburg pa on to US 15 south

follow US 15 south through Maryland into Northern VA

US 15 south runs into 17 south just as you cross I66

US 15 and 17 split after Warrenton- follow 17 to Fredricksburg

this route really is a time saver and takes you past some nice country - you can stay in Warrenton or Leesburg instead of Winchester

look at a map- it will make sense and you will save over an hour vs following 81 to 66 and catching 17 around the plains
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 04:39 PM
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Thx to all for the valuable info -- I'm off to check my maps and check that freetrip site. Happy travels!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 05:35 PM
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An alternate route would be I-81 south through Virginia to I-77 to Columbia, SC. Take I-26 from Columbia to Mt Pleasant, SC and then rte 17 north.

True, there is truck traffic on I-81, but it's a more scenic drive and it sure beats driving I-95.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 07:19 PM
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Not only do I agree with ronkala, but if you're coming from Toronto (based on most of your previous posts), then you should take I-90 to I-77, bypassing all of the eastern seaboard.
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Old Apr 4th, 2005, 12:47 PM
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Thx ronkala -- we'll probably do 77 to 81 on our way northbound, but we're not in a rush going down and will overnight in Litchfield where we'll visit friends, plus we intend to stop in Charleston so boring old I-95 works best for us. There's also an outlet mall near Smithfield off 95 that may be an overnight stop. ;-)

Our normal route of choice from Buffalo is south through NY & PA to 83/95. It's just that the Baltimore/Washington area can be aggravating even for drivers used to the chaos of Toronto!
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