Local commuters could be getting to work faster than originally thought.
The I-495 Express Lanes are set to open Nov. 17, the Virginia Department of Transportation announced last week. The high-occupancy toll lanes were originally scheduled to open in December.
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