Scott Shenk writes about transportation issues affecting Fredericksburg-area residents.
I-495 express lanes to get a test run
Anyone who drives up north on Interstate 495 should be aware that the new express lanes there haven’t opened yet. The cars using those lanes are testers.
While I-495 might not be on many Fredericksburg area drivers’ minds, it’s interesting to see the process playing out for the new express lanes there, as the Interstate 95 express lanes coming to Stafford will connect with them. And what is being done there likely will be replayed here in a couple years.
The 495 express lanes won’t open until December at the earliest, but starting this week testers will drive vehicles on the lanes from Gallows Road to the Route 123 interchange to see how the tolling and traffic management systems work. Electronic signs will be activated as part of the test, too. The testing will run through the end of the month.
The lanes will remain closed to the public.
Here are some tips from a release on how to use the 495 express lanes:
- All drivers, including carpoolers, will need an E-ZPass or E-ZPass® FlexSM for the all-electronic 495 Express Lanes.
- Pricing will change for the Express Lanes based on real-time traffic conditions to manage the demand for the lanes, keeping the Express Lanes moving. The technology being tested will help keep the Express Lanes free flowing.
- Signage in advance of each entry point will show the price to three destinations. Drivers will lock in their rate when they enter the Express Lanes.
- The Express Lanes are expected to be completed by December 2012.
VDOT links on the express lanes:
The video below has information on express lanes and how they work.
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