Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday that the state has reached a $1 billion deal with a private contractor to build high occupancy toll lanes on Interstate 95 in northern Virginia that planners hope will improve one of the region's worst traffic corridors.
Under the deal announced Tuesday, private contractor Fluor-Transurban would finance 90 percent of the $940 million project, with the rest of the money coming from the state. The contractor would recoup its investment by collecting the tolls.
“The project will bring congestion relief and new travel choices to Northern Virginians," McDonnell said in a release. "It will also provide an economic boost by supporting nearly 8,000 jobs over the construction period and stimulating $2 billion in economic activity.”
The existing HOV lanes on I-95 in northern Virginia extend to create 29 miles of HOV/HOT Lanes between Edsall Road in Fairfax County and Garrisonville Road in Stafford County, with improved access to major Virginia employment centers and military sites.
A similar project is already under way on the Capital Beltway.
Motorists will have an option to pay a toll to use the HOT Lanes, while carpools with three people or more and buses will have free access to the lanes.
Virginia also will invest $200 million to expand bus service in Spotsylvania, Stafford, Prince William and Fairfax counties, and construct more than 3,000 new park and ride spaces.
Construction could begin in mid-2012.
The I-95 HOV/HOT lanes will:
- Expand the I-95 HOV lanes from two to three lanes for 14 miles from Edsall Road to the Prince William Parkway, improve six miles of existing HOV lanes from the Prince William Parkway to Route 234, and extend the HOV lanes for nine miles from Dumfries in Prince William County to Garrisonville Road in Stafford County, alleviating the worst bottleneck in the region. Stafford County would have HOV lanes for the first time.
- Provide a seamless connection to the I-495 HOT Lanes (under construction) and Tysons Corner
- Allow free travel for carpools with three or more persons as well as buses, vanpools, motorcycles and emergency vehicles. Charge single-person vehicles a toll based on time of day and travel distance.