The 495 Express Lanes opened on November 17, 2012. The project created four new lanes on the Beltway and essentially rebuilt the entire beltway in the County, including all bridges and sound walls. The Express Lanes are an innovative solution to help alleviate traffic problems experienced by Fairfax County commuters.
The 495 Express Lanes Project is a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Fluor-Transurban.
The Lanes allow vehicles that do not meet the HOV requirements to pay a toll, determined by demand, to be allowed onto the express lanes on the Capital Beltway (I-495). Vehicles with three or more people are allowed free access to the lanes just as they are now to existing HOV lanes.
Allowing express bus service on the Express Lanes is also a goal for the project.
Construction on the 495 Capital Beltway portion of the Express Lanes project began in July 2008. The project involved the construction of four lanes (two in each direction) on a 14-mile stretch of the Capital Beltway between the Springfield Interchange and just north of the Dulles Toll Road.
These lanes allow the Beltway to offer HOV-3 connections with I-95/395, I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road for the first time. When completed, buses, carpools and vanpools with three or more people and motorcycles can ride in the new lanes for free as they do on 95 and 395 now.