VDOT: I-95 Express Lanes Update
BRAC, I-495 among projects discussed.
Northern Virginia commuters will continue to navigate around major construction in the coming months as the Virginia Department of Transportation sticks to its aggressive completion schedule for transportation projects.
Steve Titunik, VDOT's communications director, said he was proud of what VDOT and its partners had been able to accomplish and hoped that construction on the state's many projects, including express lanes on I-95 and the Capital Beltway, would stay on schedule.
“Spring seems to have started early, which is great news for us,” he said.
I-95 Express Lanes
Construction on the 9-mile extension from Dumfries down to Garrisonville Road in Stafford County is expected to begin in 2012, said John Lynch, VDOT's regional transportation program director.
VDOT will also be expanding HOV facility to three lanes for 14 miles between the Prince William Parkway to Edsall Road.
The commonwealth agreed to major business terms in December. The private sector will fund $840 million in financing and construction for the project, and has agreed to $10.2 billion in operation and maintenance costs over 73 years.
The project, formerly known as the I-95 High Occupancy and Toll Lanes, will connect with the toll lanes being constructed on I-495. Commuters in single occupancy vehicles will have an option to pay a toll if they want to use the lanes. Prices will depend on the amount of traffic, according to officials.
Although no set price is in place, an "an average three-exit trip is projected to be roughly $5 to $6,” according to VDOT officials.
I-495 Express Lanes Construction
The I-495 Express Lanes, formerly known as the I-495 HOT Lanes, are about 90 percent complete and scheduled to open in late 2012, Lynch said.
The road will operate through a partnership between VDOT and the Transurban-Fluor consortium. VDOT will continue to own the road, while the private sector will operate and provide periodic maintenance.
An EZ Pass is required for driving in the toll lanes. Commuters will have the option of paying a toll for single occupancy vehicles, or enjoying a toll-free ride in a vehicle with three or more people.
Customers who purchase an EZ Pass Flex can switch the device off when riding with three or more people and will not be charged a toll.
Tim Steinhilber, Transurban-Fluor’s 495 Express Lanes manager, said that like the I-95 Express Lanes, tolls will fluctuate depending on traffic and demand.
Signs advertising toll rates will be erected so that drivers can decide if they want to use them.
Toll equipment will then identify the drivers total trip distance through EZ-Pass detection and determine the total charge.
For further updates on Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), Woodrow Wilson Bridge/Telegraph Road Interchange and Dulles Metrorail click here.