New and Improved 95 Express Lanes: Construction Under Way
The groundbreaking for the expansion and improvement of the I-95 HOV lanes was held this past week.
The ground breaking for the expansion and improvement of the I-95/395 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)/ Express lanes from near Edsall Road in Fairfax County to Garrisonville Road in Stafford County was held Tuesday, August 7. Completion is expected in December 2014.
Nearly $1 billion in infrastructure improvements to the I-95 corridor will be made. This project will include:
- Adding a third HOV lane for 14-miles along I-95 from the Edsall Road area on I-395 south to the Prince William Parkway;
- Improving two existing HOV lanes for 6 miles between Prince William Parkway and Rt. 234, Dumfries Road; and
- Adding two new HOV/Express Lanes for another 9 miles south to Stafford County, Rt. 610 Garrisonville Road.
The work schedule will be Monday-Friday, day and night shifts, and most weekends. HOV lanes will be open during morning and afternoon rush hours. Nightly closures of I-95/395 HOV lanes are scheduled from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. week nights and 11 p.m. until 9 a.m. on weekends. Delays of 10-15 minutes can be expected during lane closures through the construction area.
When finished, the new 95 Express Lanes should provide some much needed relief in traffic congestion in this northern Virginia area. The project should take under 30 months to complete. Of course, relief can’t come fast enough for this heavily traveled corridor.
Fluor-Lane 95, LLC is the “design/builder of the 95 Express Lanes,” the same group working on the I-495 Express Lanes, scheduled to open later this year. Funding for the project is coming from state, federal and private money. The contract between Fluor and the state will continue to permit cars with three or more passengers to continue to use the express lanes free.
The 95 Express Lanes project should also provide considerable economic benefits to the area. “The project will employ approximately 500 construction personnel and support 8,000 jobs in the region with an overall impact of $2 billion. $190 million worth of contracts will be targeted to small and disadvantaged businesses as part of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT’s) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)/Small Women-Owned, Minority-Owned Business Program.” It took over 8 years working with the different government entities and communities including commuters to work out different concerns and bring this to fruition. It is hoped that this will “provide faster, more direct options for high-occupancy vehicles and toll-paying customers” and help move traffic through this busy corridor.
Among those in attendance at the Ceremonial Groundbreaking were: Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton, Congressman Gerry Connolly, Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors Corey Stewart, and Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova, Fort Belvoir Garrison Commander, Colonel Gregory Gadson, and myself.
For more information about this project, visit: www.VAmegaprojects.com or www.95expresslanes.com.