First Driver on 495 Express Lanes: Santa

Santa cruised down the new lanes Friday to get to Tysons Corner

Not just anyone can be the first driver on the long-awaited 495 Express Lanes.

But Santa, of course, is not just anyone.

On Friday morning, he cruised down the new lanes -- which officially open Saturday -- while en route to his seasonal workplace at Tysons Corner Center.

There were no reindeer on the Beltway, though -- instead, Santa rode in a Tesla Roadster convertible (color: Arctic White) along the 11 miles from Braddock Road to the new exit at Westpark Drive.

No word on whether Santa will have some elves along for the ride. The new express lanes have an HOV-3 restriction unless the driver coughs up for a toll.

Santa arrived at Westpark Bridge around 8:40 a.m. Friday, and drove through the mall(!) to his workshop at 9:45.

The first 50 parents to arrive with their kids at Santa's Winter Wonderland House each received a $20 American Express Gift Card (plus milk and cookies, of course).

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