495 North Traffic Congestion to get Better with New VDOT Shoulder-use Lane Project

Sep 1, 2013

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Relief is on the way to help relieve one of the most congested areas on the Beltway.

The 495 Express Lanes have greatly improved travel in Northern Virginia, and in late 2014, drivers will be able to get to their destinations even faster with a new shoulder-use lane project.

The 495 Northbound Shoulder-use Lane Project will bring extra capacity and new benefits to all Beltway travelers by allowing traffic to travel on the left shoulder of northbound I-495 for a stretch spanning from the end of the 495 Express Lanes (near MD) to just past the George Washington Parkway Interchange – approximately 1.5 miles. The project will have no impact to nearby bridges and neighborhoods.  

The additional lane will provide five travel lanes – open to all Beltway travelers – to help traffic merge from the end of the 495 Express Lanes to the regular Beltway during morning and afternoon peak travel times.  Here are other benefits you can look forward to:

  • Increased distance for Express Lanes traffic – drivers and buses – to safely merge back to the Beltway lanes
  • Additional time and space for drivers to safely merge before reaching the American Legion Bridge
  • Reduced delays and backups for drivers headed to the American Legion Bridge and into Maryland
  • Improved travel conditions to discourage cut-through traffic in local neighborhoods
  • No impact to nearby bridges and neighborhoods
  • The lane will be gray to distinguish it from the regular travel lanes
  • Overhead signs, similar to the signs used over shoulder lanes on I-66, will show a red X or green arrow to alert drivers when the shoulder is available or closed

Construction of the $20 million project is scheduled to start in mid-2014.  When open in late 2014, the lanes will be controlled by overhead signals. 

The shoulder-use lane project will add extra capacity in a congested area of the Beltway and will improve your trip no matter how you travel.

For more information on the 495 Northbound Shoulder-use Lane Project construction, please view this press release.


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