Construction is underway on the $1.4 billion high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on the I-495 Capital Beltway in Northern Virginia. Fluor Corp. and Transurban broke ground yesterday on the public-private project, designed to reduce congestion on the state’s busiest highway.
The project includes 14 miles of HOT lanes — with two new lanes in each direction — from the Springfield Interchange to just north of the Dulles Toll Road. More than $250 million is budgeted to replace aging infrastructure, including more than 50 bridges and overpasses. Also planned are three new access points from the beltway to Tysons Corner, Fairfax County’s largest retail and employment center.
Construction is expected to take nearly five years. Once open, the HOT lanes will be free to cars carrying three or more passengers, as well as buses, motorcycles and emergency response vehicles. Individual motorists will have the option of using the HOT lanes, paying a variably-priced toll, depending on levels of congestion.
Virginia’s Department of Transportation signed off on the deal in late 2007. Texas-based Fluor is a construction giant with annual revenues of $16.7 billion in 2007. Transurban is a $5.4 billion dollar-a-year Australian international toll road investor and manager with interests in seven toll roads in Australia and the U.S., including the Pocahontas Parkway in Richmond. For more information on the HOT lane project, go to http://www.virginiahotlanes.com.
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