Map of construction project districts

Under Construction

I-495 North Shoulder Lane Use

From the Express Lanes merge to George Washington Parkway in Fairfax County

Area Maps

Project at a Glance

Begin Date
June 1, 2014

Est Completion Date
Open to traffic July 2015; final completion Summer 2015

$20 million


Northern Virginia

Paul Nishimoto
Project Manager
Susan N. Shaw, P.E.
Regional Transportation Program Director

***** NOTICE *****

The shoulder lane will open to traffic as early as the morning of Tuesday, July 7. News release

About the Project

VDOT began work on June 1, 2014 to improve travel conditions where the northbound 495 Express Lanes join the regular lanes.

The 1.5-mile project will allow traffic to travel on the left shoulder of northbound I-495 from where the 495 Express Lanes end to the George Washington Parkway. The existing shoulder will be rebuilt to accommodate traffic.

The shoulder will be open to all traffic during peak travel periods. A lane-use management system, with green arrows and red "X's", similar to the lane-control system on I-66, will alert travelers when the shoulder is available. 

In addition, the project includes several safety enhancements such as upgraded concrete barriers in the median of I-495, new cameras and electronic highway signs to help with incident response and traveler information, and rehabilitating the pavement for a smoother ride.

All travelers and buses will benefit from the new capacity and improved merge. There will be no barrier separation between the shoulder lane and the regular Beltway lanes, ensuring easy access for travelers.

Traffic Impacts

VDOT and its contractor are making every effort to accomplish a large portion of work during nighttime hours, when traffic is typically lighter.

In general, motorists should expect lane closures to occur on this stretch of I-495 North as follows:

Daytime Lane Closures:

  • Mondays through Thursdays: From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Fridays: From 10:00 a.m. to noon

Nighttime Lane Closures:

  • Mondays through Thursdays: From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Fridays: From 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings
  • Saturdays: From 9:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings
  • Sundays: From 8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Monday mornings

Occasionally, VDOT will close all lanes on this section of I-495 North for intermittent periods during overnight hours, but will work to inform the public in advance.

Cost and Schedule

Estimated Project Cost
Preliminary engineering: $3.0 million
Construction: $17.0 million
Total $20 million

Anticipated project schedule
Construction of the shoulder project began on June 1, 2014.

Open to traffic in July 2015, final completion scheduled for Summer 2015.


Public Information Meeting Presentation and Brochure (November 2013)

Shoulder Lane Control System (SLCS)

I-495 Roadway Display

Environmental Documents:

Categorical Exclusion 

Final Design Noise Analysis

Air Report

Traffic Report

UPC: 105130

State Project: 0495-029-123

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Page last modified: July 1, 2015