The US state of Virginia and road operator Transurban are investing more than $1 billion in four projects to help tackle congestion on the I-495 and I-95.
The partners want to establish a 90-mile network of connected Express Lanes throughout Northern Virginia and Fredericksburg by 2022.
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDoT) and Transurban have signed an agreement for the first project, Capital Beltway Express Lanes Northern Extension. The new 2.5-mile area will offer four general purpose lanes and two new Express Lanes in each direction from the current terminus near the Dulles Access Road to the American Legion Bridge. The network will be extended to the Maryland border to address bottlenecks in the region and reduce cut-through traffic in local McLean neighbourhoods.
Additionally, a reversible ramp connecting the existing I-95 Express Lanes at Optiz Boulevard is expected to provide better access to Potomac Mills and Sentara Virginia Medical Centre. It will also allow drivers to exit directly onto Optiz Boulevard.
A new southbound auxiliary lane is to be built on I-95 in Woodbridge to address the traffic bottleneck at the Occoquan Bridge. This lane will connect the southbound Route 123 ramp onto I-95 with the off-ramp at Westbound Prince Willian Parkway.
Scott Surovell, member of the Virginia Senate, says: “The Occoquan bottleneck is the worst traffic problem in Virginia and has been one of my top priorities since I was elected to represent Prince William County in 2015.”
The fourth project is a 10-mile extension of the 95 Express Lanes to Fredericksburg.
VDoT is also developing environmental studies to support the projects.
Virginia is also taking steps to bolster its commercial vehicle enforcement systems. Earlier this month, International Road Dynamics won a $4.2 million contract to use weigh-in-motion technology to help maintain 11 mainline and ramp systems owned by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles