Scott Shenk writes about transportation issues affecting Fredericksburg-area residents.
State officials launch I-95 express lanes project
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and other elected officials kicked off the nearly $1 billion Interstate 95 express lanes project Tuesday at the Dale City rest area, the spot on I-95 known as the worst bottleneck in the region.
McDonnell said on Tuesday that the project will support thousands of construction jobs and create more than a billion dollars in economic activity.
In July the state signed the deal with Transurban DRIVe and Fluor Enterprises Inc., which will build and oversee the 29 miles of express lanes. The lanes will carry a variable electronic toll, except for vehicles with three or more people, motorcycles, buses and vanpools.
The state will pay about $71 million for the project, while Transurban and Fluor will foot the other $854 million.
The new express lanes will run from Garrisonville in Stafford County to Edsall Road in Fairfax County.
Work was to begin either Tuesday afternoon or on Wednesday. The project is slated to be finished by the end of 2014.
The governor and others noted how the project will tie into the express lanes on 495 in Northern Virginia, which will ease congestion from the mixing bowl to Stafford.
“We will add capacity and provide congestion relief for the hundred and hundred of thousands of travelers on 95,” McDonnell said. “We will provide travelers with an option of using these new HOT lanes.”
He also added that the project will infuse thousands of park and ride lots for public transportation and commuters.
The governor said the project will have a “major benefit” for localities along the 95 corridor, noting that it would create 12,600 jobs (including 900 in Stafford) and create $1.54 billion in economic activity during the two years of construction.
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