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Beltway HOT lanes could open as soon as mid-November

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The 495 Express Lines could be open as early as Nov. 17, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation and 495 Express Lanes.

The 14-mile corridor of high-occupancy toll lanes, or HOT lanes, will require drivers to have E-Z Pass transponders. Carpoolers will need an E-Z Pass FlexSM to use the lanes free of charge.

“The 495 Express Lanes are on track to open earlier than expected in November which means drivers must take steps now to prepare to use the new lanes,” VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley said in a statement.  “This facility will have a regional impact on all travelers. We need drivers to be prepared for the changes in traffic patterns and new rules of the road. If you plan to use the Express Lanes, make sure you are equipped with an E-ZPass.”

The new lanes include two lanes in each direction from the Springfield Interchange to just north of Dulles Toll Road on the Capital Beltway.

Tolls to use the lanes will change with traffic conditions. Drivers should educate themselves on how to use the lanes, VDOT and 495 Express Lanes said.

Following are some resources drivers can use to educate themselves on how to use the new lanes:

•      Get an E-ZPass:  All drivers will need an E-ZPass or E-ZPassFlex to use the 495 Express Lanes.  To learn more about E-ZPass options and find out how to get an E-ZPass, please visit http://www.495expresslanes.com/using-ezpass

•      Plan their trip:  The 495 Express Lanes will include three new Beltway entry and exit points, meaning a more direct route to popular locations in Tysons Corner and Merrifield.  The Express Lanes are a limited access highway so drivers should plan their new route and learn how to access and exit the Express Lanes now by mapping their trip on the 495 Express Lanes website,  http://www.495expresslanes.com/map  

•      Learn how to safely use the lanes:  The Express Lanes will be easy to use and get drivers where they need to go.  However, there are some new aspects of the road that are worth learning about.  To learn how to safely use the lanes, drivers should visit http://www.495expresslanes.com/staying-safe

•      Get answers to questions:  For more information on tolling and operations, drivers should visit the 495 Express Lanes FAQs web page – http://www.495expresslanes.com/faqs


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