395 and 495 Express Lane Projects
- VDOT will hold Public Information Meetings in May 2022 for the public to learn about its 495 Southside Express Lanes Study (495 Southside Study), which involves assessing a potential extension of the Express Lanes system on I-495 (the
Capital Beltway) for 11 miles from the Springfield interchange (I-95/I-395/I-495) to MD 210 in Prince George’s County, Maryland. There will be a virtual option on May 18 and three in person meetings. Information on the meetings can be found on the I-495 Southside Express Lane Project Website.
- On January 12, the Commonwealth Transportation Board took action to designate the current HOV only ramps as HOT with HOV-3 occupancy, consistent with the 395 Express Lanes.
- On December 2, VDOT announced that it will be initiating an environmental study to potentially extend the Express Lanes System on the Capital Beltway,. The study – which is included in VDOT’s current Six-Year Improvement Program - will evaluate a one-lane express lanes alternative, a two-lane express lanes alternative, a no build alternative, and be informed by agency and public input. All options in the study will reserve a lane for transit in each direction on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge
Seminary / I-395 Ramp Background
Transurban, the company that is building and managing the I-395 Express Lanes project, informed the City of Alexandria and VDOT in October 2018 that it would like to analyze the possibility of opening the south-facing ramp at the Seminary Road exit for high occupancy toll (HOT) paying vehicles. The south-facing ramp, opened in early 2016, was planned to remain restricted high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) and transit traffic traveling north in the morning and south in the evening, even after completion of the I-395 Express Lanes. The existing north-facing ramp (serving traffic going to and from points north, in the mornings and evenings respectively) was always planned to serve HOV, transit and HOT paying vehicles as a part of the I-395 Express Lanes project. City of Alexandria Transportation and Environmental Services (T&ES) staff is coordinating with Transurban and VDOT on an analysis (to be conducted by Transurban) of the forecasted traffic changes that could occur from the proposed change.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the project was put on hold in 2020. In November 2021, VDOT and Transurban notified staff that they planned to move forward with this project. For more information, read the Memo to City Council that was distributed on November 16. The Intersection Modification Report (IMR) will be approved this month, and VDOT hosted a public meeting on December 6, 2021. On January 12, the Commonwealth Transportation Board took action to designate the current HOV only ramps as HOT with HOV-3 occupancy, consistent with the 395 Express Lanes.
- December 6, 2021 VDOT public meeting Presentation
- December 9, 2019 VDOT public meeting Presentation and Meeting comment summary report
- Read the City of Alexandria's response to the traffic study assessing conversion of the I-395 ramp from a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)-only ramp to a High Occupancy Toll (HOT) ramp.
- VDOT I-495 Southside Express Lanes project webpage
- City of Alexandria Comments on I-495 Southside Express Lanes Study (June 16, 2022). (pdf )
- VDOT I-395 Express Lanes project webpage
- Transurban I-395 Express Lanes project webpage
- Memo to Alexandria City Council from the City Manager (May 16, 2019), updating the HOV ramp study proposal by Transurban. (pdf, presentation)
- Memo to Alexandria City Council from the City Manager (Nov 8, 2018), stating the City position on this issue. (pdf)
- Alexandria City Council Resolution No. 2520 (2012), expressing a preference for a ramp option that minimizes traffic volume traveling to and from Seminary Road east of I-395. (pdf)
- Development Framework - 395 Project in Northern Virginia (2015), describing the basic scope of the I-395 Express Lanes extension between VDOT and Transurban. (pdf)
- Letter from the VDOT Secretary to jurisdictions (2015), describing the basic scope of the I-395 Express Lanes project. (pdf)
- Letter from Mayor Allison Silberberg to VDOT Secretary (2018), expressing the City of Alexandria's opposition to changes to the ramp, and encouraging a full analysis and outreach process. (pdf)