Ground has been broken on the construction of I-395’s express lanes extension.Construction has officially begun on the extension of the busy I-395 express lanes along an eight-mile stretch from Alexandria to the Washington, D.C. Transurban, the operator of I-95’s express lanes, and the Virginia Department of Transportation are working together with Governor Terry McAuliffe to extend the I-395 express lanes from Turkeycock Run in Alexandria all the way to the D.C. line. Upon completion of the project, commuters will have better options for more reliable and efficient travel on what is one of the busiest corridors in the U.S. The I-395 express lanes extension is part of a bigger project called The Atlantic Gateway Initiative which seeks to unlock the I-95 corridor. Governor McAuliffe said that the I-395 project and Atlantic Gateway Initiative demonstrates how working together will help “improve the quality of life for Virginians” as well as for visitors, while also helping to keep the state’s economy in a state of growth.
The changes will be especially beneficial for the commuters who work at and near the Pentagon, as well as the commuter bus riders who use the Pentagon as a transferring point. The Pentagon’s South Parking Area will also be reconstructed, and HOV and bus lanes will be added, which will improve both traffic and safety for carpoolers and buses. The project also involves adding a fourth lane between Edsall Road and Duke Street as a way of making traffic flow better. Several bridges on I-395 will also be rehabilitated, and sound walls will be constructed to cut noise levels in neighboring communities. With a price tag of $500 million (which will be paid by both private and public funding), the construction of the new express lanes is expected to be completed by fall 2019, while the bridges, sound walls, bus lanes, and Pentagon parking area are estimated to be done by summer 2020. What do you think about this project? Are you excited about the coming improvements? Tell us in the comments!