Richmond, Va. — The Commonwealth of Virginia accepted a proposal from Transurban to deliver an eight-mile extension of the I-395 Express Lanes from Turkeycock Run near Edsall Road in Alexandria to the Washington, D.C. line.
“This acceptance is the latest step in our ongoing effort to move more people and provide more travel choices in one of the most congested corridors of the country,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “The agreement we have reached with Transurban clearly meets the Commonwealth’s requirements and will give Virginia travelers and taxpayers the value they deserve for a project of this scope.”
Plans to extend the Express Lanes began in November 2015 under a Framework Agreement in accordance with the 95 Express Lanes Comprehensive Agreement between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Transurban, its private partner and operator of the 95 and 495 Express Lanes. After meeting specific project-delivery and financial criteria, including a competitive procurement for a design-build partner, and yearly payment of $15 million (to be escalated annually) for transit improvements and traffic demand strategies in the corridor, the Commonwealth has approved Transurban’s proposal to finance, design, build, maintain and operate the 395 Express Lanes extension.
Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne said, “Under Governor McAuliffe’s leadership, we followed a process allowing our 95 Express Lanes partner 120 days to develop their financial and technical plans on this critical improvement project. Working together, we were able to ensure that the Commonwealth’s commitment to provide a $15 million annual payment for transit could be met while shifting key project risks to the private sector and enabling timely project delivery.”
“Transurban is pleased to begin delivery of the I-395 Express Lanes project, which will provide a historic investment in regional transit,” said Jennifer Aument, group general manager, Transurban. “Our proposal represents the best value to the Commonwealth and we are committed to delivering the project safely, on-time and on-budget.”
In addition to the annual transit investment by Transurban, other project components include:
- Converting and upgrading the existing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to express lanes from the current Express Lanes northern terminus at Edsall Road to the D.C. line
- Adding a third reversible lane from Edsall Road to just south of Eads Street near the Pentagon
- Improving the Eads Street Interchange and transit and carpool access at the Pentagon
- Adding a fourth regular southbound lane on I-395 between Duke Street and Edsall Road
- Rehabilitating five bridges over I-395
- New sound walls to protect neighboring communities
Design and construction of the project is anticipated to cost approximately $500 million, through combination of private and public funds. The project is one element of the Commonwealth’s Atlantic Gateway program, a series of major improvements to the I-95/I-395 corridor. Project construction will generate local jobs, economic activity and opportunities for both disadvantaged business enterprises and small, women and minority-owned businesses.
Construction is expected to begin this summer and scheduled to be complete by fall 2019. As early as this week, crews will begin preliminary work such as geotechnical investigations and surveying. Construction will occur largely within VDOT’s right-of-way; some work such as sound walls may require access to areas adjacent to the project corridor.