Friday, November 16, 2012
St. Nick took a quick ride through rush-hour traffic in a Tesla convertible roadster on Friday morning.
There was at least one jolly passenger who didn't have to inch his way through traffic on Interstate 495 in Northern Virginia on Friday morning. At around 8:30 a.m., Santa Claus commemorated the opening of the I-495 Express Lanes with a 14-mile ride from Braddock Road to Tysons Corner in an Arctic-white Tesla Roadster convertible. "It was a smooth ride — wonderful," said Santa, when he arrived at the Westpark Bridge ramp near the Tysons Galleria. "It didn't take but 10 minutes... Almost as good as a sleigh." The Express Lanes, which officially open on Saturday, offer riders with an E-ZPass an option to pay for less traffic, with trips costing upwards of $6 one-way. The speed limit is 55 miles per hour, and costs will fluctuate. "The 495 …
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says "You see pavement. I see jobs.”
Though the I-495 Express Lanes opens to commuters this Saturday, Virginia officials, stakeholders and residents gathered for an early ribbon-cutting celebration celebration Tuesday in Tysons. Hundreds of people attended the ceremony, including Gov. Bob McDonnell, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11th) and Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee), among others. McDonnell said the economic impacts from the massive construction project were cause for celebration. Building the lanes brought more than 16,000 jobs and $3.5 billion to the Commonwealth, he said. “It’s pumped billions of dollars into the economy and put thousands of people to work,” McDonnell said. “You see pavement. I see jobs.” Developers paid for 80 percent of the $2 billion …
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Officials briefed news media Wednesday on Beltway toll Express Lanes construction.
The I-495 Express Lanes are in the final phase of construction and should be operational by late fall 2012, officials said during a news briefing Wednesday morning. The lanes, which have been undergoing testing for the last couple of months, will bring faster, easier and pricier trips to commuters, but they’ll also bring major traffic changes. “This is the biggest single traffic change for this region since the opening of I-66 30 years ago,” said Jennifer Aument, vice president of Transurban-Fluor, the company building the lanes. “So all drivers, whether they plan to use the Express Lanes or not, need to be alert and be prepared.” Aument urged carpoolers to purchase their E-ZPass Flex transponders and learn as much as they can about the …
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Public meeting scheduled August 22 to review plans.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will hold a public meeting this Wednesday (Aug. 22) to discuss the proposed new Fairfax Connector service that will use the 495 Express Lanes. Once the 495 Express Lanes are opened this December, the proposed new Fairfax Connector routes would include: According to the Fairfax Connector's webpage, these new routes would: The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Braddock Hall at the Braddock Governmental Center.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
New transponder switches between toll-free and toll-paying mode for the 495 HOT Lanes.
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials announced Wednesday the launch of the EZ-Pass Flex transponder, a device that will allow high-occupancy vehicles to ride for free when the 495 Express Lanes open later this year. The beltway express lanes, which will run from the Dulles Toll Road (Route 267) exit to the I-95/395/495 interchange (the “mixing bowl”) will be free for all vehicles with three or more occupants. All drivers will need an EZ-Pass transponder to use the lanes. Drivers wishing to take advantage of the HOV toll-free option will have to purchase an EZ-Pass Flex. “Carpooling is an important priority in the commonwealth of Virginia,” said Charles Kilpatrick, VDOT’s chief deputy commissioner, encouraging all …
Friday, June 8, 2012
Expect some backups as drivers are diverted off the highway from 9 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday.
All lanes of I-395 North where it intersects with I-495 (near the Springfield Interchange) will close at 9 p.m. Friday and re-open at 7 a.m. Saturday. The closure will affect drivers heading northbound on I-95 and trying to continue onto I-395. The Virginia Department of Transportation is restriping the pavement and shifting traffic as part of the 495 Express Lanes Project. More information on the project is available at www.495expresslanes.com. According to a VDOT press release, “All I-395 north traffic will be detoured to Exit 170, I-495 north (Inner Loop) toward Tysons Corner, to Exit 52A, Little River Turnpike west, ride the ramps onto I-495 south, back to Exit 57B, I-395 north.” For current traffic conditions and the lowest gas prices…