Bulova - McKay Statement on VDOT's HOV/HOT Lanes Update
Feb. 3, 2011
Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton announced that the state plans to move forward with a High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane project on I-95 from Garrisonville Road in Stafford County to Edsall Road, just north of the Capital Beltway in Fairfax County, dropping previously proposed plans for construction on I-395 inside the Capital Beltway. The re-scoped HOT lanes project on I-95 will link directly to the I-495 HOT lanes currently under construction on the Capital Beltway within Fairfax County and provide a direct HOT to HOT lanes connection between I-95 and the county’s major activity center in Tysons Corner.
In addition to the I-95 HOT lanes project, the state has committed to undertake the construction of a single-lane, reversible High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) ramp from the existing I-395 HOV lanes to Seminary Road. This state commitment begins to address the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ major concern about the truncation of the I-95 HOT lanes project at Edsall Road just north of the Capital Beltway. The new HOV ramp is essential to mitigate in part traffic congestion on I-95 resulting from the relocation of approximately 6,400 Washington Headquarters Service (WHS) and other defense-related employees to Mark Center in the city of Alexandria and to encourage the use of high occupancy vehicles by employees to the Mark Center site. (The Mark Center relocation is one element of the Base Realignment and Closure Act - BRAC).
Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova said, "We are disappointed that we won't have HOT lanes that reach north eventually into D.C., but we are pleased that we have a revised project with a significant transit component along with a companion project to address the Seminary Road/Mark Center situation. After working with our federal representatives, elected leadership in Alexandria and Arlington, the Commonwealth of Virginia and my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors to address issues, I see this as a very positive step toward long-awaited transportation improvements near the BRAC facility at Mark Center and something we can work with.”
"Today’s announcement is progress, but not victory," Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Transportation Committee Chairman, Supervisor Jeffrey C. McKay said. "With thousands of people moving into this building in less than seven months, something has to be done and although this is not the perfect solution, it helps. Thousands of jobs will move to this already severely congested area with inadequate transportation improvements in place to support traffic entering and exiting the new building. As more than 20,000 employees relocate to Fort Belvoir installations at the Mark Center, the former Engineering Proving Ground, and the main base, it is imperative that both transit and vehicular capacity enhancements to this corridor move forward as expeditiously as possible.”
In advancing the I-95 HOT lanes project, the state has committed to concurrently develop and implement expanded transit and park-and-ride facilities in the I-95 and I-495 HOT lanes corridors, another principal concern of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Public transit vehicles, van pools and car pools with three or more people will have free passage on the I-95 and I-495 HOT lanes network. Vehicles with fewer than three riders will be charged to use the HOT lanes when capacity exists.
This announcement by the secretary of transportation marks the culmination of approximately 18 months of negotiations between the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and its private partner, Fluor-Transurban (FTU), to identify a financially viable project, as well as to eliminate issues raised in an Arlington County lawsuit against a longer HOT lanes project that would have terminated at the Arlington County, Va./Washington, D.C., line.