Prince George gateway project adds landscaping, lighting along I-95
PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, VA — Prince George County leaders unveiled the $1.2 million gateway project along Interstate 95 that was two years in the making and includes new lighting, landscaping enhancements and huge garden spires.
An estimated 40,000 vehicles travel through that area on I-95 each day – a number higher than the 36,656 resident who live in Prince George County.
Now, travelers passing “The Gardens at Exit 45” will be greeted by two 47-foot-tall glass architectural spires that flank the roadway. Leaders intend for the structures to help create a threshold to the commercial district.
The design calls for 139 trees, 363 shrubs, and nearly 3,000 perennials along the exit ramp and at the intersection with South Crater Road. As travelers exit I-95 at night, the trees along the southbound ramp are accentuated by 28 lights.
The towers are made of glass, one along each side of the entranceway to the district. Colonial garden spires were the design inspiration for these central features in the 32,000 square-foot gateway plan.
The spire finials are highlighted by four lights, and internal illumination of the spires comes from four color-changing LED flood lights.
County leaders launched a targeted effort to restore the corridor, because they said this area was a major hub for tourism in the past, but had fallen into decline in more recent years.
“The Gardens at Exit 45 is expected to stimulate local job growth and increase our tax revenue for the county by attracting visitors and travelers alike,” said Percy Ashcraft, County Administrator for Prince George County.
The $1.2 million cost for the project was shared equally by Prince George County and The Cameron Foundation, who is working with several localities across the Tri-Cities area to develop distinctive community gateways. The Gardens at Exit 45 is the first such project to be completed.
“Gateways can contribute significantly to creating a unique sense of place that is important to promoting tourism and investment in a community,” said Cameron President J. Todd Graham. “By working together with the local governments on these projects, we are combining our efforts to generate large-scale impact,” he added.