Alexandria, Va.– Today, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the 95 Express Lanes announced that select sign unveiling will start over the next few weeks in preparation for the opening of the Express Lanes, currently on schedule to open in December. The new Express Lanes signs will serve as a visual reminder of the changes coming and the new E-ZPass requirement that will go into effect when the Express Lanes open in December. The Express Lanes signs will be uncovered in a priority order with a focus on safety first and ensuring the HOV system continues operating.
“We want drivers to be aware that they will start to see new signage but to remember that it is business as usual – and HOV rules still apply – until the Express Lanes open,” said Susan Shaw, PE, Director of VDOT’s Northern Virginia Megaprojects. “We need to unveil some Express Lanes signs in advance of opening given the volume of new signage for the Express Lanes and to help drivers become familiar with the new rules of the road as well as remind them to take the necessary steps to prepare for the changes by getting an E-ZPass.”
Some Express Lanes signs, such as those in the new nine-mile segment of the Express Lanes where there is no traffic, have already been uncovered. The remainder of the Express Lanes signs will be uncovered in phases – with the first major unveiling beginning November 1. Uncovering signage will gradually continue until the road’s opening in December. HOV regulatory signs will still be in place and visible until the HOV system converts to the 95 Express Lanes. The remaining signage will be unveiled in the final days before opening.
“As we work to convert the existing HOV lanes to Express Lanes, safety is our top priority,” said Kevin Ginnerty, Director of Project Delivery, Transurban. “Drivers will see an increasing number of Express Lanes signs on the road throughout the coming weeks. These signs are a signal that changes are coming to I-95 in Northern Virginia. We encourage all drivers to prepare for the 95 Express Lanes by visiting 95ExpressLanes.com to ensure they’re educated on the rules of the road and ready to benefit from the lanes when they open.”
Approximately 300 signs need to be uncovered before the 95 Express Lanes open including*:
Regulatory Signs: These signs reinforce key Express Lanes information, such as:
- All drivers need an E-ZPass or E-ZPass® FlexSM to use the Express Lanes – there are no toll booths or options to pay cash
- Carpoolers travel toll-free on the 95 Express Lanes with three or more people in the vehicle and an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode
- Buses and two axle vehicles may use the lanes. Vehicles with three or more axles may not use the lanes at any time
Entry/Exit Signs: These signs guide drivers on and off the Express Lanes:
- Entry signs have a purple banner with an E-ZPass logo and "EXPRESS ONLY”
- Exit signs have white letters on a green background
Pricing Signs: The 95 Express Lanes will use dynamic tolls to provide drivers with a predictable trip:
- Drivers will see overhead pricing signs before all entrances to the Express Lanes or anytime they have a choice to use the Express Lanes or take the regular lanes
- The displayed prices change to reflect the current toll prices. Drivers lock in their rate when they pass under a pricing sign
Express Lanes End/HOV Lanes Begin Signs: Drivers will see special regulatory signs at the Express Lanes/HOV lanes transition point near Edsall Road:
- When traveling northbound, the Express Lanes end and the HOV lanes begin on I-395 north near Edsall Road:
- To continue onto the I-395 HOV lanes, drivers must comply with HOV rules
- Drivers that do not have three people in their car or an applicable clean fuel plate vehicle when the occupancy restriction is in effect on the I-395 HOV lanes should follow signs to exit onto the I-395 northbound regular lanes
- When traveling southbound, the I-395 HOV lanes end and the Express Lanes begin on I-395 near Edsall Road:
- Drivers traveling in the HOV lanes should not enter the Express Lanes without an E-ZPass
*Note that not all of these signs will be uncovered in the coming weeks. Some of these signs will remain covered until the date the Express Lanes open.
All drivers will need an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex to use the Express Lanes. E-ZPass and E-ZPass Flex are available at 75 convenient Northern Virginia retail locations including Wegmans, select Virginia DMVs and Giant Food Stores or at one of the E-ZPass Customer Service Centers; online or by calling Virginia E-ZPass at (877) 762-7824.
About the 95 Express Lanes
On schedule to open in December 2014, the 95 Express Lanes will operate on I-95 to provide travelers with faster, more predictable travel options. The project will add capacity and extend and improve the performance of 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). The 95 Express Lanes are being delivered through a public-private partnership between VDOT and Transurban with Fluor-Lane 95, LLC leading construction. For more information, please visit 95ExpressLanes.com.
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