Joan Morris 703-259-1799

Feb. 3, 2011

Delivering congestion relief and new travel choices

CHANTILLY — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will advance a new Interstate 95 High Occupancy Vehicle/High Occupancy Toll (HOV/HOT) lanes project to relieve a major bottleneck in the HOV lanes and create a seamless network for travelers along I-95 and the Capital Beltway, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton announced today. 

VDOT will also construct a new HOV ramp at the Mark Center site at Interstate 395 and Seminary Road.

VDOT developed the I-95/395 HOV/HOT Lanes project to expand highway capacity, enhance carpooling opportunities, and fund transit in the corridor.  The project has been severely delayed due to a lawsuit filed by Arlington County. The delay has had a detrimental impact on the timing, scope, and private finances of the project as originally envisioned. 

 “We can no longer wait to deliver congestion relief and new travel choices,” said Secretary Connaughton.  “The Capital Beltway, I-95 and I-395 corridors are home to some of Virginia’s most important employment centers and military sites.  We are doing what we need to do to get businesses and people across these critical routes moving again.” 

New I-95 HOV/HOT Lanes Project

The new I-95 HOV/HOT lanes project will create approximately 29 miles of HOV/HOT lanes on I-95 from Garrisonville Road in Stafford County to the vicinity of Edsall Road on I-395 in Fairfax County and includes:

  • Constructing two new reversible HOV/HOT lanes for nine miles from Route 610/Garrisonville Road in Stafford County to Route 234 in Dumfries, where the existing HOV lanes begin 

  • Widening the existing HOV lanes from two lanes to three lanes for 14 miles from the Prince William Parkway to approximately two miles north of the Springfield Interchange in the vicinity of Edsall Road

  • Making improvements to the existing two HOV lanes for six miles from Route 234 to the Prince William Parkway

  • Adding new or improved access points in the areas of Garrisonville Road, Joplin Road, Prince William Parkway, Fairfax County Parkway, Franconia-Springfield Parkway, I-495 and in the vicinity of Edsall Road.

The new HOV/HOT lanes project will no longer include the originally planned construction of six miles of HOV/HOT lanes on I-395 in Alexandria or Arlington County or upgrades to key interchanges at Shirlington and Eads Street in Arlington County.  Those lanes will continue to be restricted to HOV, transit, eligible hybrids and motorcycles during rush hours.

However, VDOT is advancing plans to construct a new ramp at I-395 and Seminary Road for the Mark Center, concurrent with the HOV/HOT lanes project. The ramp will be open to HOV and transit only.  Construction on the ramp could begin as early as 2012.

VDOT will also expand park-and-ride lots and fund other local transit improvements to maximize the benefit of the new HOV/HOT lanes network.

Public Input, Estimated Cost and Schedule

VDOT has initiated an environmental review for the new HOV/HOT lanes project and expects to host citizen information meetings in late 2011 to provide residents and travelers detailed information on project plans.

Construction could begin as early as the 2012 construction season and will take up to three years to complete.   

The estimated $1 billion project is being financed and constructed under Virginia’s Public-Private Transportation Act. The private sector is expected to contribute a majority of the project’s funding and financing, with support from a state contribution. VDOT expects to finalize a financial plan for the revised project later this year.

Construction of the 14-mile HOT lanes project on I-495 is more than 50 percent complete and the lanes will open to traffic by early 2013.   

VDOT is also advancing studies to support the ultimate extension of HOV/HOT lanes on I-95 south of Route 610 into Spotsylvania County. 

HOV/HOT Benefits

The HOV/HOT project will directly link the I-95 HOV lanes to new HOV/HOT lanes on the Capital Beltway, creating a free-flowing network spanning more than 40 miles and providing direct HOV and transit service to major Virginia-based employment centers including Tysons Corner, Merrifield, Fort Belvoir and Quantico.

The project will also relieve one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the region where the existing HOV lanes currently end at Route 234 in Dumfries. 

Carpools with three or more people, vanpools and transit vehicles will have free access to the HOV/HOT lanes network.

The HOV/HOT lanes will keep traffic moving by using dynamic tolling that will adjust tolls based on real-time traffic conditions, video technology to identify accidents, a series of electronic signs to communicate with drivers and state troopers to ensure enforcement.  

These strategies will help maintain travel speeds, make travel times more predictable and significantly reduce violators.

Construction of the project is expected to support more than 8,000 jobs.

See the letter from Secretary Connaughton to local elected officials at

Visit or  for more information about the I-95 HOV/HOT Lanes Project.


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012