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495 Express Lanes scheduled to open in Northern Virginia

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The 495 Express Lanes in Northern Virginia are scheduled to open Saturday.

The $2 billion project, the result of a partnership between the state and private companies, includes two high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes in each direction on the Virginia side of the Capital Beltway.

The lanes stretch about 14 miles from the Springfield Interchange to just north of the Dulles Toll Road. 

Gov. Bob McDonnell participated in an opening event celebration Tuesday in Tysons Corner.

The governor said construction of the express lanes supported more than 16,000 jobs and generated nearly $3.5 billion of economic impact statewide.

The project was financed with state funds, private equity, private-sector bonds and a federal loan through the government’s TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) program. 

Construction began in the summer 2008.  The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) owns and oversees all aspects of the express lanes, while Transurban (USA) Operations Inc. operates the lanes through a concession agreement.

The project included replacement of more than $260 million of aging infrastructure, including 58 bridges and overpasses plus upgrades to 12 key interchanges and new access points at Route 29/Lee Highway, Westpark Bridge and Jones Branch Drive.

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