Local commuters could be getting to work faster even sooner than originally thought.
The I-495 Express Lanes will open Nov. 17, the Virginia Department of Transportation announced last week. The high occupancy toll lanes were originally scheduled to open in December.
A grand opening ceremony will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 13, in Tysons Corner with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Congressman Gerry Connolly and many other area and regional officials in attendance.
The 14-mile stretch of highway-within-a-highway allows commuters to pay a toll (or carpool and avoid the toll) to use express lanes between the Springfield interchange and just north of the Dulles Toll Road.
Commuters will need an E-ZPass to pay tolls, or they will need an E-ZPass Flex to use while carpooling with at least three people in their vehicle.
“Dynamic pricing based on real-time traffic conditions manages the demand for the lanes, keeping the Express Lanes moving,” according to the VDOT. “The 14-mile Express Lanes will be free for carpoolers with three or more people with an E-ZPass Flex, buses, motorcycles and emergency vehicles. Other drivers may pay a toll for a faster, more predictable trip. Drivers will lock in their rate when they enter the lanes and pay tolls electronically with E-ZPass.”
Drivers should expect to pay somewhere between $3 and $6 for a roundtrip on the Express lanes in rush hour and $1 to $2 during less congested periods.
More information on the Express Lanes is available at www.495ExpressLanes.com.
I-495 Express Lanes Nearing Completion