Toll Lane Construction Could Be HOT for Area Economy

Express roads could generate big economic boost

FAIRFAX, Va. -- It turns out HOT lanes could bring more than just a quick ride to our area, according to a new study.

Construction of the proposed express toll lanes would provide a substantial economic boost to the Washington-area and Virginia economies, according to George Mason University's Stephen S. Fuller.

The project would generate $2.3 billion for the Fairfax County economy over the next five years, according to the study released Wednesday.  It would also generate $2.7 billion for the Washington-area and $3.5 billion for the Virginia economy. That would help the commonwealth, which is struggling with a major budget shortfall.

Critics of the HOT lanes refer to them as the "Lexus Lanes" and worry that the new project would have negative environmental impacts.

If constructed, the lanes would cost between 10 cents and $1 per mile for drivers with fewer than three people in their vehicle. Buses and carpools would be able to use the lanes for free.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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