Press Release

On-Road Testing of 95 Express Lanes Underway

Sep 15, 2014

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Alexandria, Va. – The 95 Express Lanes team has started testing the 95 Express Lanes’ tolling and traffic management system through a series of “test drives” and will continue conducting drives throughout the fall.  Drivers traveling on I-95/I-395 might notice vehicles labeled as test vehicles in the HOV lanes and are advised that the 95 Express Lanes are not yet open.

The test drives are part of a series of system tests currently underway to ensure that the 95 Express Lanes’ tolling and traffic management equipment and systems function properly and can manage traffic in the Express Lanes.  System tests will examine technology both on the roadway and at the Express Lanes Operations Center in Alexandria.   

“The 95 Express Lanes will use technology to deliver new transportation options and keep drivers moving on I-95 in Northern Virginia,” said Kevin Ginnerty, Transurban’s Director of Project Delivery.  “Testing the tolling and traffic management system is an important step in the delivery of the 95 Express Lanes and providing a faster trip to customers.”

What to Expect:

  • Marked vehicles will conduct test drives throughout the fall.  
  • During this time, a variety of test vehicles will join regular traffic on the I-95 HOV lanes to test the 95 Express Lanes’ tolling and traffic management systems.  When traveling on the active HOV lanes, test vehicles will obey traffic laws and HOV rules.
  • Vehicles will begin test drives on the project’s new entry points, new exit points and nine-mile extension in late September.  To ensure the safety of travelers, these test drives will occur during off-peak hours, or when the HOV lanes are closed during night or weekend hours.
  • The vehicles will generate enough trips to test the performance of the tolling system that will manage traffic on the Express Lanes.
  • Testing will occur throughout the day to capture various test scenarios and driving conditions.

Technologies and Equipment Undergoing Testing:

  • On-road traffic sensors, which will monitor traffic 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to gather the traffic data necessary to determine toll prices.
  • E-ZPass readers, which use radio frequency identification technology, are installed on the overhead gantries and will communicate with vehicles’ E-ZPass transponders to pass transaction information to the Express Lanes Operations Center to process trips and charge tolls or provide a toll-free trip to carpools (HOV-3+) with an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode.
  • Closed-circuit and automatic incident-detection cameras on the roadway, which will be used to monitor and manage traffic by quickly detecting incidents and alerting the Express Lanes Operations Center traffic control operators to notify first responders and dedicated incident-response crews assigned to the Express Lanes.

What Drivers Need to Know Before the Express Lanes Open:

  • Everyone will need an E-ZPass to use the 95 Express Lanes. Carpools need the E-ZPass Flex.
  • Toll prices for the Express Lanes will change to manage the demand, keeping the Express Lanes moving.  The technology being tested will help keep the Express Lanes free-flowing.
  • Signage in advance of each entry point will show the current toll prices for upcoming exits. Signage within the 95 Express Lanes will show prices for exits farther away.
  • The Express Lanes are coming soon so travelers need to get ready today by getting an E-ZPass and visiting 95ExpressLanes.com.  

About 95 Express Lanes

The 95 Express Lanes are high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes that will operate on I-95 to provide travelers with faster, more predictable travel options.  The project will add capacity and extend the existing HOV lanes.  The 95 Express Lanes will operate from I-95 near Garrisonville Road in Stafford County to the vicinity of Edsall Road on I-395 in Fairfax County (approximately 29 miles). Operated through a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Transurban, the 95 Express Lanes will offer drivers a new option for a reliable trip on I-95 in Northern Virginia.  For more information, please visit 95ExpressLanes.com.

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