Major Traffic Changes as 495 Express Lanes Open

photoDrivers should prepare for major traffic and roadway changes in the days leading up to the opening of the 495 Express Lanes, and once the lanes are fully operational.  The 495 Express Lanes are on schedule to open on November 17 and will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Over the next week and during the November 17th opening, drivers should expect to see the following changes along the 14-mile corridor between the Springfield Interchange and just north of the Dulles Toll Road:

• Removal of covers off directional overhead signs and ground-mounted signs located within the Express Lanes, on arterial roads with Express Lanes access points, as well as at I-66 and Dulles Toll Road Interchanges
• Barricades and barrels in place blocking access at Express Lanes’ entrance and exit points
• Activation of new traffic signals on arterial roads with Express Lanes’ access ramps
• Removal of bags that are covering newly activated traffic signals

Once the 495 Express Lanes open to traffic, drivers should remain alert and be prepared for new traffic movements, ramps, and traffic signals on arterial roads along the corridor, as well as three new 495 Express Lanes access points at Westpark Drive, Jones Branch Drive, and Lee Highway/Route 29.

Drivers should prepare for new traffic signals at most Express Lanes access ramps including:

• Westpark Drive
• Jones Branch Drive
• Route 7
• Lee Highway/Route 29
• Gallows Road
• Braddock Road

“We urge motorists to use extreme caution and have patience as they travel on the 495 Express Lanes Corridor and secondary roads around Express Lanes access points,” said John Lynch, VDOT’s Regional Transportation Program Director.

The 495 Express Lanes will use dynamic pricing to keep traffic free flowing and provide a more predictable travel option to travelers on the Beltway.  All drivers will need an E-ZPass to use the Express Lanes – there are no toll booths or options to pay cash.  Carpoolers with three or more occupants will need the new E-ZPass FlexSM for a toll-free trip on the Express Lanes.

Drivers can visit to learn how to prepare for the changes that the Express Lanes will bring.  The 495 Express Lanes are being delivered through a public-private partnership between VDOT and Transurban-Fluor.