Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has announced plans to help improve travel times along one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the nation.
Plans call for the extension of express lanes on Interstate 95 in Stafford County and also of the express lanes along Interstate 395 to the Washington, D.C., line.
The governor said there is no “one magic fix” to resolve congestion issues in Northern Virginia. Instead, he said traffic solutions along I-95 and I-395 include additional capacity, express lanes and multi-modal improvements.
“These are significant improvements that will move more people and commerce through an interstate corridor and a critical jobs corridor,” McAuliffe said in prepared remarks.
The express lanes along I-95 will be extended by about two miles. A reversible single lane will also be added, which will eventually split into northbound and southbound merge ramps.
Construction is estimated to begin next year. The work is expected to take two years to complete.
Work will be done by private operator Transurban under the contract in place with the Virginia Department of Transportation.
House Speaker William Howell, R-Stafford, said that the planned upgrades are good news for highway users.
“The express lanes brought much needed congestion relief to the I-95 corridor, and these upgrades will bring additional relief.”
The extension of express lanes along I-395 will stretch eight miles through Arlington to the D.C. line. Specifically, the project will convert the existing high-occupancy vehicle lanes to tolled express lanes.
An additional express lane will provide three express lanes in the corridor.
Work on the project is expected to begin in 2017 with the extended lanes opening to traffic in 2019.
Vehicles with three or more people will continue to be able to access the express lanes for free.
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