Alexandria, Va. – The 95 Express Lanes expect to handle a substantial increase in traffic later this week, as drivers head out of town to enjoy the tail end of summer. Last year, customers took 228,910 trips on the 95 Express Lanes leading up to and during Labor Day weekend. Customers saved about 30 minutes in travel time on an average trip. The busiest getaway travel times on the regular I-95 lanes and the 95 Express Lanes before Labor Day weekend in 2016 were Wednesday between 4 to 7 p.m. and Thursday between 2 to 6 p.m.
According to a May 2017 survey of 1,700 Washington D.C. area drivers, 40 percent of weekly toll-paying 95 Express Lanes customers use the Lanes for vacation travel. As such, drivers traveling along the 95 Express Lanes corridor over Labor Day weekend should prepare for heavy traffic volumes. Although this increased demand may result in higher-than-average toll prices during peak periods, customers, on average, spend more on a single tank of gas than they do in tolls on the Lanes throughout an entire month.
To help customers with their travel, roadway information is provided using overhead signs and through the free Express Lanes mobile application, which provides real-time access to toll prices and traffic cameras.
Travelers are advised to pay close attention to pricing and advisory signs, as significant congestion on the regular lanes can lead to delays on the southern end of the 95 Express Lanes in Stafford County. The southern extension to the 95 Express Lanes is on schedule to open by the end of this year which will help improve congestion in this area. The new northbound entry point will open by summer 2018.
When to start your trip:
- The busiest getaway travel times on the regular I-95 lanes and the 95 Express Lanes before Labor Day weekend in 2016 were Wednesday between 4 to 7 p.m. and Thursday between 2 to 6 p.m. Those periods are expected to again face the heaviest travel volumes.
- To avoid higher-than-average tolls and peak traffic, drivers should avoid traveling during Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and evening.
While on the road:
- An advisory sign before the Quantico/Joplin Road exit will alert customers to any delays ahead on the southbound 95 Express Lanes.
- Customers have the option to exit the Lanes at Joplin Road or continue to the end of the 95 Express Lanes near Garrisonville Road.
- If delays increase, signage before the Joplin Road exit will advise customers to exit to the regular lanes.
- Express Assist crews will respond to customers in disabled vehicles on the Lanes.
- Customers riding with at least two passengers in the vehicle are reminded to travel with E-ZPass® FlexSM in HOV mode for a toll-free trip.
The 95 Express Lanes reversal schedule will be adjusted on Labor Day for holiday getaway traffic. Beginning Tuesday, September 5, the start of the weekday morning reversal will shift from 10 a.m. back to 11 a.m. Here’s what drivers can expect:
- Thursday, August 31: Southbound reversal begins at 10 a.m.
- Friday, September 1: Southbound reversal begins at 10 a.m.
- Saturday, September 2: Lanes reverse to northbound at 2 p.m.
- Sunday, September 3: Lanes remain northbound
- Monday, September 4: Express Lanes remain northbound all day
- Tuesday, September 5: End of early summer reversal – southbound reversal now begins at 11 a.m.
About the Express Lanes
The 495 and 95 Express Lanes operate on I-495/Capital Beltway and I-95 providing drivers with faster and more predictable travel options in Northern Virginia. Together the 495 and 95 Express Lanes create a region-wide network of free-flowing lanes for nearly 40 miles from the Dulles Toll Road to Stafford County. Delivered through a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Transurban, the Express Lanes give drivers reliable travel choices on two of northern Virginia’s most congested roadways. For more information, please visit ExpressLanes.com.