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Author Topic: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes  (Read 298407 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1250 on: June 30, 2018, 07:32:56 PM »

Washington Post: Virginia explores extending the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge

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A plan to expand the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge will add three miles to Virginia’s system of high-occupancy toll lanes — and provide a critical link to the region’s growing toll network.

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The proposed highway widening would complete the last leg of a tolling system on Northern Virginia’s portion of the Capital Beltway and connect to Maryland’s proposed toll lanes for its side of the Beltway, Interstate 270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

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“Now with Maryland talking about [toll lanes on] their side of the river and doing something in that stretch, there is more incentive for us to move forward with this project,” said Susan Shaw, director of Megaprojects for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Related article about Maryland managed lanes is here.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 07:38:42 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Beltway

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1251 on: June 30, 2018, 08:40:04 PM »

Washington comPost: Virginia explores extending the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge
Quote
A plan to expand the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge will add three miles to Virginia’s system of high-occupancy toll lanes — and provide a critical link to the region’s growing toll network.

If the cited plan in the article is to add 2 HOT lanes each way between VA-267 and the river, then they can finalize the rest of the upgrade plan to the VA-267/I-495 interchange. 

There are two left exit ramps from I-495 that need to be upgraded to right hand exits, and there are 6 mainline bridges of I-495 over VA-267 and ramps that are the original 1964/1977 bridges and they need to be replaced.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 08:47:13 PM by Beltway »
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Steve D

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1252 on: July 05, 2018, 08:04:04 AM »

Washington comPost: Virginia explores extending the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge
Quote
A plan to expand the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge will add three miles to Virginia’s system of high-occupancy toll lanes — and provide a critical link to the region’s growing toll network.

If the cited plan in the article is to add 2 HOT lanes each way between VA-267 and the river, then they can finalize the rest of the upgrade plan to the VA-267/I-495 interchange. 

There are two left exit ramps from I-495 that need to be upgraded to right hand exits, and there are 6 mainline bridges of I-495 over VA-267 and ramps that are the original 1964/1977 bridges and they need to be replaced.

Is the work you mention ("the rest of the upgrade plan") part of a formal design or something you are proposing?   Was it considered in the original contract? 
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Beltway

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1253 on: July 05, 2018, 08:23:53 AM »

If the cited plan in the article is to add 2 HOT lanes each way between VA-267 and the river, then they can finalize the rest of the upgrade plan to the VA-267/I-495 interchange. 
There are two left exit ramps from I-495 that need to be upgraded to right hand exits, and there are 6 mainline bridges of I-495 over VA-267 and ramps that are the original 1964/1977 bridges and they need to be replaced.
Is the work you mention ("the rest of the upgrade plan") part of a formal design or something you are proposing?   Was it considered in the original contract? 

I was speaking generally, as I don't know what the official plan was, just noting that the interchange was only partly upgraded, the 2 HOT lanes were added each way thru the interchange area and then end a mile north of there; it seems apparent that it was unknown at the time whether the future HOT lanes extension would be one lane each way or two lanes each way; something that would depend on Maryland's future plans.  So it seemed like a full interchange upgrade with total rebuild like what happened at I-66 and I-95/I-395 would await the future HOT lanes extension project.
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Jmiles32

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1254 on: July 06, 2018, 09:46:09 PM »

  So it seemed like a full interchange upgrade with total rebuild like what happened at I-66 and I-95/I-395 would await the future HOT lanes extension project.

If the I-495/VA-267 interchange does in fact receive a full interchange upgrade, it will be very interesting to see what designs both VDOT and the potential private partner come up with.
Speaking of rebuilds, the VA-193 and the GW Parkway overpasses will likely have to get rebuilt as well. While GW Parkway interchange should probably stay relatively the same, I think upgrading the VA-193 interchange to either a DDI or SPUI could be extremely beneficial.
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1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1255 on: July 26, 2018, 10:29:04 PM »

WTOP has an analysis of when the HO/T lane tolls are most worth it. Lots of graphs and data: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/07/are-tolls-worth-it-on-virginias-hot-lanes/

I also found this interesting:

Quote
Separately, Transurban recently raised the minimum toll in the I-95 Express Lanes from $1 to $1.50 at times the road is quiet. The first base rate increase since the lanes opened at the end of 2014 is intended to cover operations costs.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1256 on: July 27, 2018, 10:30:43 AM »

WTOP has an analysis of when the HO/T lane tolls are most worth it. Lots of graphs and data: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/07/are-tolls-worth-it-on-virginias-hot-lanes/

I also found this interesting:

Quote
Separately, Transurban recently raised the minimum toll in the I-95 Express Lanes from $1 to $1.50 at times the road is quiet. The first base rate increase since the lanes opened at the end of 2014 is intended to cover operations costs.

I have no issue with that.  Transurban has to staff their operations center (near the  interchange of I-395 and VA-648 (Edsall Road)) in Fairfax County, pay for VSP police patrols and provide Safety Service Patrol (IIRC they use a different name but you know what I mean) coverage 24/7.  Even if they charge a minimum of $1.50 per trip, I doubt that they are making money most overnight hours.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1257 on: July 27, 2018, 10:37:29 AM »

WTOP has an analysis of when the HO/T lane tolls are most worth it. Lots of graphs and data: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/07/are-tolls-worth-it-on-virginias-hot-lanes/

I also found this interesting:

Quote
Separately, Transurban recently raised the minimum toll in the I-95 Express Lanes from $1 to $1.50 at times the road is quiet. The first base rate increase since the lanes opened at the end of 2014 is intended to cover operations costs.

I have no issue with that.  Transurban has to staff their operations center (near the  interchange of I-395 and VA-648 (Edsall Road)) in Fairfax County, pay for VSP police patrols and provide Safety Service Patrol (IIRC they use a different name but you know what I mean) coverage 24/7.  Even if they charge a minimum of $1.50 per trip, I doubt that they are making money most overnight hours.

I wonder what their traffic counts are at night.  If it's anything like Maryland's tolled lanes, some people use them regardless of how dead the free lanes are.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1258 on: July 27, 2018, 03:08:51 PM »

WTOP has an analysis of when the HO/T lane tolls are most worth it. Lots of graphs and data: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/07/are-tolls-worth-it-on-virginias-hot-lanes/

Presentation on which the WTOP story was based can be found here (Adobe Acrobat .pdf. 4.28 MB).
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mrsman

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1259 on: July 27, 2018, 03:19:34 PM »

WTOP has an analysis of when the HO/T lane tolls are most worth it. Lots of graphs and data: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/07/are-tolls-worth-it-on-virginias-hot-lanes/

I also found this interesting:

Quote
Separately, Transurban recently raised the minimum toll in the I-95 Express Lanes from $1 to $1.50 at times the road is quiet. The first base rate increase since the lanes opened at the end of 2014 is intended to cover operations costs.

I have no issue with that.  Transurban has to staff their operations center (near the  interchange of I-395 and VA-648 (Edsall Road)) in Fairfax County, pay for VSP police patrols and provide Safety Service Patrol (IIRC they use a different name but you know what I mean) coverage 24/7.  Even if they charge a minimum of $1.50 per trip, I doubt that they are making money most overnight hours.

I wonder what their traffic counts are at night.  If it's anything like Maryland's tolled lanes, some people use them regardless of how dead the free lanes are.

That's so true.  When I'm traveling the stretch of I-95 N of Baltimore, I'm almost always traveling opposite peak direction or at non-peak times.  Why anyone is paying a toll when I'm zipping along at full speed is mind boggling to me.

I-495 though is a little different since there are some exits on the express lanes that don't have a corollary on the main highway so it can save you ample time from having to circulate on side streets.  You could still face plenty of red lights even when traffic is light.
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1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1260 on: July 27, 2018, 05:33:32 PM »

Other thing is, on I-495 and I-95 the speed limit is higher in the HO/T lanes. If you do get stopped, the fine would be less and it’d carry fewer points.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1261 on: September 20, 2018, 07:44:06 PM »

Washington Post: Here’s a look at who’s using Northern Virginia’s 495 and 95 express lanes

Quote
The average user is younger than 45 and has a household income of less than $100,000 a year, according to a new survey.
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Jmiles32

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1262 on: September 26, 2018, 11:04:50 PM »

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/09/how-many-people-are-going-out-of-their-way-to-avoid-dc-areas-tolls/

Quote
On the 495 Express Lanes in Virginia, fewer drivers paid to use the lanes this spring than last.
Tolls paid on the Capital Beltway dropped 13.2 percent from around $23 million to $20 million in April, May and June, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Average daily trips declined 5.3 percent in the 495 Express Lanes to 48,000 in the spring. On a year-to-year basis for the period ending June 30, average daily trips fell 1.2 percent, according to Transurban’s financial reports.

The average 495 Express Lanes toll charged in April, May and June dropped from $5.77 to $5.40, leading to average workday toll revenue dropping to $294,000 from $341,000 last year.

On the 95 Express Lanes, which are also operated by Transurban, the number of average daily trips has remained flatter. Comparing April, May and June of this year to the previous year, the number of trips dropped 0.4 percent. For the full year that ended June 30, average daily trips increased 1.2 percent.

The average toll charged in April, May and June on the 95 Express Lanes was $8.45, about the same as the previous year; but, average workday toll revenue increased to $365,000 from $353,000 last year.

Combined, average daily trips in the 95 and 495 Express Lanes increased 0.5 percent in April, May and June, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Quote
On the Dulles Greenway, the number of average workday trips dropped about 6 percent in the first half of this year, compared to the same period a year earlier, to about 58,600. On weekends and holidays, there are now an average of 31,300 trips. Toll revenue dropped about 3.6 percent, even after toll increases earlier in the year.

Owner Atlas Arteria blames upgrades to Route 7, Route 28 and other alternative routes, and Silver Line construction, for much of the decline, which is expected to continue.

The Greenway is in discussions with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority about changes at the eastern end’s connection to the Dulles Toll Road in an effort to reduce congestion at the western end as well.

With decreased usage and increased alternatives, I wonder if there is even a remote chance of the Greenway owner selling the road to VDOT(or the state in general). I'm aware of failed negotiations in the past, but if this trend of decreased usage continues, I highly doubt 10-15 years from now the Greenway stays profitable(if it even is currently).
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1263 on: September 27, 2018, 04:43:02 PM »

With decreased usage and increased alternatives, I wonder if there is even a remote chance of the Greenway owner selling the road to VDOT(or the state in general). I'm aware of failed negotiations in the past, but if this trend of decreased usage continues, I highly doubt 10-15 years from now the Greenway stays profitable(if it even is currently).

Many years ago, when the Greenway was proposed as a private toll road, the justifications offered were that a private firm would get the road opened faster than VDOT, and that there would be no taxpayer dollars used for the project.

Even though the elected officials making those promises are no longer in office, there are people that remember them, and would probably not be supportive of the Greenway being taken-over by a state entity.
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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1264 on: January 03, 2019, 06:55:54 PM »

Anyone here with a HOV switch NC Quickpass? Curious on how its works with the I-95/495 lanes as it claims to be E-ZPass Flex compatible despite being an "out of network" issued transponder.
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1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1265 on: January 03, 2019, 09:25:33 PM »

Anyone here with a HOV switch NC Quickpass? Curious on how its works with the I-95/495 lanes as it claims to be E-ZPass Flex compatible despite being an "out of network" issued transponder.

I didn’t know they offered one. When did it become available? Is it supposedly compatible with SunPass as well as E-ZPass?

Edited to add: OK, since the hockey game is at intermission I looked it up. The QuickPass website says, "Please note: the transponder can also be used for free HOV travel in the I-66 and I-495/I-95 Express Lanes in Virginia." Very interesting because it says it's also compatible with SunPass and Peach Pass. I just might have to consider QuickPass now, EXCEPT it costs $16.49 plus tax to get the device. I don’t see much point in paying that when I already have the E-ZPass Flexes and the SunPass. Also, I still don't like their policy of "one car per transponder." Why shouldn't I be able to register four cars to two transponders, seeing as how there are two of us and we never have more than two cars being driven at any one time?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 10:03:46 PM by 1995hoo »
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1266 on: January 03, 2019, 11:17:23 PM »

^ Is it really that much of a bother to have one transponder per car and all transponders on the same account?  Works just fine for us, though we also don't have a zillion cars....
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1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1267 on: January 04, 2019, 09:17:23 AM »

^ Is it really that much of a bother to have one transponder per car and all transponders on the same account?  Works just fine for us, though we also don't have a zillion cars....

Typically each transponder requires you to put up more money—in Virginia, $35 per transponder (so we have to put up $70 each time our E-ZPass account replenishes). I don’t know what the amount is in North Carolina. So yes, I don’t see any reason to put up an extra $35 (plus $16.50 to buy the transponder) when we never drive more than two cars at any one time. There is absolutely no legitimate reason why they should try to restrict a hard-shell transponder to being used only in one particular vehicle.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

cpzilliacus

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1268 on: January 07, 2019, 03:44:23 PM »

WTOP Radio: I-66 tolls turn 1-year-old. Are they working?

Quote
Driving alone each way at rush hour on Interstate 66 inside the Beltway during newly expanded HOV hours cost an average of $12.59 in the first year of tolls for solo drivers, a policy Virginia transportation officials say helped move more people through the congested corridor.

Quote
In December 2017, the HOV hours were expanded eastbound to 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and westbound to 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and a new toll was added for solo drivers who previously were generally not allowed to use the road eastbound between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. or westbound between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Quote
Since the change, an average of 13,946 vehicles with at least two total people inside and an E-ZPass Flex in HOV mode have used the road each day during the expanded hours and an average of 18,279 vehicles pay a toll each weekday, a Department of Transportation review of the first year with the new rules said.
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1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1269 on: January 12, 2019, 11:10:00 PM »

No tolls tonight on the HO/T lanes. I knew they sometimes do that when it snows to encourage people to use the lanes so as to help keep the pavement clear, but I had ever encountered it. The signs that normally show the toll amounts said:

ALL EXITS
$0.00
NO TOLLS

(But the sign at Duke Street still said "HOV-3 NEED FLEX FOR EXPRESS LANES." I thought that message should have been turned off for the night because, technically, you probably don't need an E-ZPass at all if they're not charging tolls.)

BTW, the reversible lanes would normally be pointed north on Saturday night, but they said they'd leave them southbound until Sunday afternoon in this weather. Strikes me as interesting that they'll consider changes due to weather but not due to excessive traffic on days like the Sunday after Thanksgiving when the bulk of the traffic is overwhelmingly headed south.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1270 on: January 29, 2019, 01:51:33 PM »

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2019/01/29/virginia-seals-deal-extend-toll-lanes-capital-beltway-interstate/?utm_term=.50a72a757930
Quote
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that the state has signed an agreement with Transurban to extend the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge, a project that will add nearly three miles to Virginia’s system of high-occupancy toll lanes and provide a critical link to the region’s growing toll network.

The state also is expanding the Interstate 95 toll lanes to Fredericksburg and adding a ramp and auxiliary lane in the Woodbridge area as part of new agreements with Transurban, Northam (D) said. The Northern Virginia projects amount to more than $1 billion in investments in transportation over the next five years, the governor said.

“These four significant projects on I-495 and I-95 will reduce congestion, improve safety and will be catalysts for economic growth,” Northam said at a morning news conference. “My administration is committed to creating opportunity for Virginia families and businesses in every corner of the Commonwealth, and that requires having a safe, reliable transportation network."

Northam said the deals come after months of negotiation with Transurban, which funds and operates the 95 and 495 Express Lanes. The Australian company is also overseeing construction and operation of the 395 Express Lanes, converting an eight-mile stretch of Interstate 395 high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes into toll lanes.

As part of the deal, Transurban will spend more than $550 million to complete the 2.5 miles extension of the 495 Express Lanes north to the American Legion Bridge, a project that officials say will reduce congestion in that stretch of the roadway known to be one of the biggest bottlenecks in the region, and help lessen cut-through traffic in nearby neighborhoods.

The highway widening will complete the last leg of a tolling system on Northern Virginia’s portion of the Capital Beltway and connect to Maryland’s proposed toll lanes for its side of the Beltway, Interstate 270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

The Virginia project will include connections from the Express Lanes to the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Dulles Toll Road. When complete, four general purpose lanes and two new Express Lanes will run in each direction of the Capital Beltway in that stretch. With no public funding by the Commonwealth, the Express Lanes network will be extended to the Maryland border.

Along I-95, Transurban has agreed to build a new reversible ramp connecting the 95 Express Lanes at Opitz Boulevard to enhance access to the popular Potomac Mills shopping center. The company will also build a new southbound auxiliary lane on I-95 in Woodbridge to address traffic bottleneck at the Occoquan Bridge. The Occoquan auxiliary lane will connect the southbound Route 123 ramp onto I-95 with the off-ramp at westbound Prince William Parkway, officials said.

Hoping that last part regarding the Occoquan auxiliarily lane is incorrect. Extending the southbound VA-123 onramp to the westbound Prince William Parkway offramp does not really solve the issue of the terrible 4th gp lane merge. A better solution would be for it to continue past the VA-123 interchange and turn into an exit only lane right before the Prince William Parkway, similarly to how the express lanes currently go from 3 to 2 lanes at the same exit. Either way big news!
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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1271 on: January 29, 2019, 06:46:58 PM »

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2019/01/29/virginia-seals-deal-extend-toll-lanes-capital-beltway-interstate/?utm_term=.50a72a757930
Quote
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that the state has signed an agreement with Transurban to extend the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge, a project that will add nearly three miles to Virginia’s system of high-occupancy toll lanes and provide a critical link to the region’s growing toll network.

The state also is expanding the Interstate 95 toll lanes to Fredericksburg and adding a ramp and auxiliary lane in the Woodbridge area as part of new agreements with Transurban, Northam (D) said. The Northern Virginia projects amount to more than $1 billion in investments in transportation over the next five years, the governor said.

“These four significant projects on I-495 and I-95 will reduce congestion, improve safety and will be catalysts for economic growth,” Northam said at a morning news conference. “My administration is committed to creating opportunity for Virginia families and businesses in every corner of the Commonwealth, and that requires having a safe, reliable transportation network."

Northam said the deals come after months of negotiation with Transurban, which funds and operates the 95 and 495 Express Lanes. The Australian company is also overseeing construction and operation of the 395 Express Lanes, converting an eight-mile stretch of Interstate 395 high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes into toll lanes.

As part of the deal, Transurban will spend more than $550 million to complete the 2.5 miles extension of the 495 Express Lanes north to the American Legion Bridge, a project that officials say will reduce congestion in that stretch of the roadway known to be one of the biggest bottlenecks in the region, and help lessen cut-through traffic in nearby neighborhoods.

The highway widening will complete the last leg of a tolling system on Northern Virginia’s portion of the Capital Beltway and connect to Maryland’s proposed toll lanes for its side of the Beltway, Interstate 270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

The Virginia project will include connections from the Express Lanes to the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Dulles Toll Road. When complete, four general purpose lanes and two new Express Lanes will run in each direction of the Capital Beltway in that stretch. With no public funding by the Commonwealth, the Express Lanes network will be extended to the Maryland border.

Along I-95, Transurban has agreed to build a new reversible ramp connecting the 95 Express Lanes at Opitz Boulevard to enhance access to the popular Potomac Mills shopping center. The company will also build a new southbound auxiliary lane on I-95 in Woodbridge to address traffic bottleneck at the Occoquan Bridge. The Occoquan auxiliary lane will connect the southbound Route 123 ramp onto I-95 with the off-ramp at westbound Prince William Parkway, officials said.

Hoping that last part regarding the Occoquan auxiliarily lane is incorrect. Extending the southbound VA-123 onramp to the westbound Prince William Parkway offramp does not really solve the issue of the terrible 4th gp lane merge. A better solution would be for it to continue past the VA-123 interchange and turn into an exit only lane right before the Prince William Parkway, similarly to how the express lanes currently go from 3 to 2 lanes at the same exit. Either way big news!
I was thinking the same thing. Doing an auxiliary lane is a terrible idea. That should tie into that fourth lane. Driver's have a better opportunity to merge left at that point rather than crammed between US 1, the bridge, and VA-123. There could also be better signage if the fourth lane is fully extended. "Exit Only 2 Miles", etc.

The ultimate goal, which is proposed to be studied, should be to widen I-95 to 8 general purpose lanes from the Occoquan River to Fredericksburg, where that fourth lane could tie into the under construction C/D lanes.
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Jmiles32

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1272 on: January 29, 2019, 07:23:03 PM »

Hoping that last part regarding the Occoquan auxiliarily lane is incorrect. Extending the southbound VA-123 onramp to the westbound Prince William Parkway offramp does not really solve the issue of the terrible 4th gp lane merge. A better solution would be for it to continue past the VA-123 interchange and turn into an exit only lane right before the Prince William Parkway, similarly to how the express lanes currently go from 3 to 2 lanes at the same exit. Either way big news!
I was thinking the same thing. Doing an auxiliary lane is a terrible idea. That should tie into that fourth lane. Driver's have a better opportunity to merge left at that point rather than crammed between US 1, the bridge, and VA-123. There could also be better signage if the fourth lane is fully extended. "Exit Only 2 Miles", etc.

The ultimate goal, which is proposed to be studied, should be to widen I-95 to 8 general purpose lanes from the Occoquan River to Fredericksburg, where that fourth lane could tie into the under construction C/D lanes.

No way in hell I-95 gets 8 general purpose lanes all the way to Garrisonville unless either tolls or Transurban is involved. Since the deal to extend the lanes south of Garrisonville to Fredericksburg is different there may be a chance here, but IMO unlikely in the near future. Unfortunately this was VA's best chance to significantly fix the Occoquan bottleneck and it appears as if they failed miserably. No wonder Transurban has no problem with the auxiliarily lane since it likely won't do much to resolve the issue. I swear either the officials think they're fooling everyone or Transurban really is just that much smarter. 
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sprjus4

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1273 on: January 29, 2019, 07:27:41 PM »

Hoping that last part regarding the Occoquan auxiliarily lane is incorrect. Extending the southbound VA-123 onramp to the westbound Prince William Parkway offramp does not really solve the issue of the terrible 4th gp lane merge. A better solution would be for it to continue past the VA-123 interchange and turn into an exit only lane right before the Prince William Parkway, similarly to how the express lanes currently go from 3 to 2 lanes at the same exit. Either way big news!
I was thinking the same thing. Doing an auxiliary lane is a terrible idea. That should tie into that fourth lane. Driver's have a better opportunity to merge left at that point rather than crammed between US 1, the bridge, and VA-123. There could also be better signage if the fourth lane is fully extended. "Exit Only 2 Miles", etc.

The ultimate goal, which is proposed to be studied, should be to widen I-95 to 8 general purpose lanes from the Occoquan River to Fredericksburg, where that fourth lane could tie into the under construction C/D lanes.

No way in hell I-95 gets 8 general purpose lanes all the way to Garrisonville unless either tolls or Transurban is involved. Since the deal to extend the lanes south of Garrisonville to Fredericksburg is different there may be a chance here, but IMO unlikely in the near future. Unfortunately this was VA's best chance to significantly fix the Occoquan bottleneck and it appears as if they failed miserably. No wonder Transurban has no problem with the auxiliarily lane since it likely won't do much to resolve the issue. I swear either the officials think they're fooling everyone or Transurban really is just that much smarter.
They screwed up badly with the Transurban deal. I-95 has been a mess for years, and they thought HO/T lanes would solve all the issues. They should've factored additional GP lanes in. The argument that "new general purpose lanes won't help" isn't true when traffic counts are over 200,000. An additional lane, in combination with interchange reconfigurations, aux lanes between all exits, tackled by a $1-2 billion project would severely help the corridor. You would have continuously 4 lanes in each direction, plus 5 in each direction between interchanges. Look at I-66 outside the beltway - exactly what's happening right now with a multi-billion dollar project to fix it.
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Jmiles32

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1274 on: January 29, 2019, 07:57:29 PM »

Hoping that last part regarding the Occoquan auxiliarily lane is incorrect. Extending the southbound VA-123 onramp to the westbound Prince William Parkway offramp does not really solve the issue of the terrible 4th gp lane merge. A better solution would be for it to continue past the VA-123 interchange and turn into an exit only lane right before the Prince William Parkway, similarly to how the express lanes currently go from 3 to 2 lanes at the same exit. Either way big news!
I was thinking the same thing. Doing an auxiliary lane is a terrible idea. That should tie into that fourth lane. Driver's have a better opportunity to merge left at that point rather than crammed between US 1, the bridge, and VA-123. There could also be better signage if the fourth lane is fully extended. "Exit Only 2 Miles", etc.

The ultimate goal, which is proposed to be studied, should be to widen I-95 to 8 general purpose lanes from the Occoquan River to Fredericksburg, where that fourth lane could tie into the under construction C/D lanes.

No way in hell I-95 gets 8 general purpose lanes all the way to Garrisonville unless either tolls or Transurban is involved. Since the deal to extend the lanes south of Garrisonville to Fredericksburg is different there may be a chance here, but IMO unlikely in the near future. Unfortunately this was VA's best chance to significantly fix the Occoquan bottleneck and it appears as if they failed miserably. No wonder Transurban has no problem with the auxiliarily lane since it likely won't do much to resolve the issue. I swear either the officials think they're fooling everyone or Transurban really is just that much smarter.

An additional lane, in combination with interchange reconfigurations, aux lanes between all exits, tackled by a $1-2 billion project would severely help the corridor. You would have continuously 4 lanes in each direction, plus 5 in each direction between interchanges. Look at I-66 outside the beltway - exactly what's happening right now with a multi-billion dollar project to fix it.

That's exactly what should have happened, but unfortunately since VA was relatively new to P3 deals at the time, it did not and thus a horrific contract was signed that continues to screw over I-95 today. Transurban, a private company looking to make a profit, has zero interest in allowing for VA to freely improve I-95 thereby negatively affecting their collected toll revenue. The only options for VA are to either make more deals, pay compensation, or do nothing. Glad they at least got the I-66 project right.
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