News and Views : Express Lanes construction enters final months

Lane closures continue; motorists advised to prepare for express lanes opening in early 2015.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and its 95 Express Lanes partners, Transurban and Fluor, announced today that as 95 Express Lanes construction enters its final months, drivers traveling on I-95/395 in Northern Virginia should prepare for continuing lane closures and traffic impacts. Over the next six months, nearly 1,500 workers will continue to work day and night to complete the 29-miles of new Express Lanes, which are expected to open in early 2015. Motorists are advised to prepare by learning how they may be impacted when the Express Lanes open, and how the Express Lanes will work.

To accommodate remaining construction activities, drivers should expect all lanes within the current I-95/395 HOV system, from the Washington, D.C. line to Dumfries Road, Route 234, to be closed during overnight periods and weekends. Critical work that will occur involves the installation of the Express Lanes’ tolling and traffic management equipment including 3.7 million linear feet of cabling and wire, 30 overhead toll gantries, more than 200 cameras used for detecting traffic incidents, over 220 gates, 190 lane control signals and more than 100 electronic message signs. Altogether, more than 950 tolling and traffic management devices will be deployed along the 95 Express Lanes corridor.

Following installation, crews will perform a series of on-road and back-office tests to confirm that all equipment is fully functional. Additionally, crews must complete final paving and lane markings, guardrails, sound walls and bridge work. Much of the remaining construction may be less noticeable to travelers than earlier work, but still will require frequent lane closures.

“While the final phase of construction may be less visible to drivers than in the past, the 95 Express Lanes Corridor remains an active work zone, in which the safety of drivers and workers are our top priority,” remarked Susan Shaw, VDOT’s Megaprojects Director. Shaw continued, “Now more than ever, it is important for the traveling public to use caution when traveling through our work zone. When you see the orange cones and barriers, slow down for your own safety and remember that there are people working on the other side.”

In portions, the 95 Express Lanes Corridor may look complete, but motorists are advised that the lanes are not yet operational. When the Express Lanes open, every driver who travels the HOV lanes today will be impacted by new rules of the road. All drivers will need an E-ZPass to access the lanes – HOV-3+ drivers will need an E-ZPass®FlexSM to travel toll-free. Motorists are encouraged to visit to learn how to prepare for the new Express Lanes.

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