Press Release

95 Express Lanes Offer Tips for Thanksgiving Travel

Nov 16, 2017

Tysons, Va. – The 95 Express Lanes expect a substantial increase in traffic for the Thanksgiving holiday. Last year, between Tuesday, November 22 and Sunday, November 27, customers took more than 223,000 trips on the 95 Express Lanes. On average, customers saved 27 minutes in travel time by choosing the Express Lanes, with some drivers saving more than one hour.

The busiest getaway travel times on the regular I-95 lanes and the 95 Express Lanes before Thanksgiving weekend in 2016 were Tuesday between 3 to 7 p.m. and Wednesday between 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.

To help customers with their travel, roadway information is provided using overhead signs and is available through the free Express Lanes mobile application, which provides real-time access to toll prices and traffic cameras. 

A new 2-mile southern extension on the 95 Express Lanes in Stafford County opened to traffic on October 31, 2017. Drivers planning to travel on the southern portion of the 95 Express Lanes are advised to be aware of new travel patterns in this area. Travelers are also reminded to pay close attention to pricing and advisory signs, as significant congestion on the regular lanes can lead to delays at the southern end of the Express Lanes. 

Travel tips:

  • The busiest getaway travel times before Thanksgiving weekend in 2016 were Tuesday between 3 to 7 p.m. and Wednesday between 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Those periods are again expected to have the heaviest travel volumes.
  • Last year, drivers saved as much as 50 percent off tolls by avoiding travel during the afternoon and evening portions of the getaway, when demand on the Express Lanes is at its highest and the dynamic tolls increase to manage traffic on the Lanes.

Reminders for you and visiting family:

  • E-ZPass® is required to use the 495 and 95 Express Lanes.
  • An E-ZPass issued from out-of-state will work on the Express Lanes.
  • Vehicles with at least three people, including the driver, are reminded to travel with an E-ZPass® FlexSM in HOV mode for a toll-free trip.
  • If family and friends visiting from out-of-town accidently travel on the Express Lanes without an  E-ZPass, they can visit to pay for trips within five days of travel, or contact the customer service center at 1-855-497-9777.

The 95 Express Lanes reversal schedule will be adjusted to help accommodate travelers. Here’s what drivers can expect:

  • Wednesday, November 22 – Close northbound one earlier at about 10 a.m. and open southbound by about noon.
  • Thursday, November 23 – Close southbound at about midnight and open northbound by about 2 a.m.  Northbound all day.
  • Friday, November 24 – Close northbound at about 11 a.m. and open southbound at about 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 25 – Close southbound at about 2 p.m. and open northbound at about 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 26 – Northbound all day.
  • Monday, November 27 – Close northbound at about 11 a.m. and open southbound at about 1 p.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