TYSONS, VA – On March 14, 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced the start of construction on a two and a half mile extension of the express lanes on Interstate 495 between the Dulles Corridor and the George Washington Memorial Parkway in the county of Fairfax. Governor Youngkin was joined by Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shep Miller, state and local officials, and Transurban, Virginia’s project partner and operator of expressways 495, 95 and 395, at a ceremony groundbreaking ceremony to officially launch construction on the 495 expressways. North Extension Project (495 NEXT). The latest expansion of Virginia’s 90+ mile expressway network planned for Northern Virginia, the project will provide new travel options, reduce congestion, support new transit services and minimize traffic from transit through residential communities.
“The 495 NEXT project represents the Commonwealth’s commitment to improving regional infrastructure and traffic flow for Virginians, our visitors and the wider business community,” Governor Youngkin said. “Together with our public and private sector partners, we are prioritizing investments in Virginia’s transportation network to keep people, goods, and our economy moving.”
“495 NEXT is an important new link in the safe, modern transportation system we’re working hard to build across the Commonwealth,” Virginia Transportation Secretary Shep Miller said. “This extension of our expressway system will provide much needed relief to a very congested part of the Capital Beltway, providing major benefits to the greater region. This regional approach is critical to solving our transportation challenges, and through close coordination with our partners in Maryland, Virginia’s 495 NEXT projects will be built to connect and complement future improvements in the Capital Region.
The 495 NEXT projects will add two new dynamic toll express lanes in each direction, including new connections to the Dulles Corridor and George Washington Memorial Parkway interchanges. The project will provide faster and more reliable travel options, reducing travel times for express lane users by up to 50%, including HOV 3+ and public transport users who can use the lanes without toll. It will also improve safety in the corridor by reducing collisions by approximately 20% and limiting through traffic in residential communities. It is estimated that the project will generate more than $880 million in economic benefits and 6,300 jobs.
Project 495 NEXT includes additional benefits and features such as:
• Replacement or rehabilitation of seven bridges
• Replacement of nine existing noise barriers and construction of a new noise barrier
• Environmental commitments to improve waterways and manage stormwater
• Four miles of new cycle and pedestrian links
• Funding for the new American Legion Bridge bus service linking Virginia and Maryland
“Despite unprecedented times and a global pandemic, VDOT and its partners have remained focused on advancing this critically important public-private partnership project for the region and the Commonwealth,” said the VDOT Commissioner. , Stephen Brich. “We are proud of the hard work and collaboration that made today’s milestone possible, and we look forward to getting to work on making these important improvements.”
“495 NEXT extends the benefits of faster, more reliable travel to more drivers in the region,” added Pierce Coffee, president of Transurban North America. “We know at Transurban that regional mobility is enhanced when the public and private sectors come together and we see another strong example of this marking today’s stage.”
The $660 million 495 NEXT project is a public-private partnership between the Commonwealth of Virginia and Transurban. Financial close was completed on February 28, 2022, with Transurban securing project financing comprised of a mix of equity and debt, including loans under the Federal Infrastructure Funding and Innovation Act. Transportation (TIFIA) and the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank.
In October 2021, VDOT and Transurban signed an overall agreement for the 495 NEXT project, and Transurban selected Lane Construction as the design-build contractor for the project after a competitive selection process. In July 2021, VDOT completed more than three years of environmental study and assessment for the project receiving a “Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)” from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Park Service (NPS ). In addition, VDOT received approval from the FHWA on the Project Interchange Rationale Report, a traffic study that includes an analysis of the traffic impacts and benefits associated with the 495 NEXT project.
Over the next few months, the 495 NEXT team will continue to refine and finalize project design details, as teams continue early exploratory field activities such as surveying and begin mobilizing for activities. complete construction, which could begin as early as this summer. Partners continue to work with communities and travelers to reduce on- and off-road impacts, and plan to host a public information meeting (with virtual and in-person formats) in spring 2022, prior to the start of road safety activities. complete construction. The new extended lanes are expected to open in 2025.
Click here to learn more about 495 NEXT. To learn more about the project and the benefits of 495 Express Lanes, visit ExpressLanes.com.