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I-95 Express Lanes could open early

Sunday - 9/8/2013, 9:57am  ET

RICHMOND, Va. - If you travel I-95 in Virginia, you've seen construction on the new express lanes rising fast. It turns out, they could open earlier than expected.

The 29 miles of new lanes, which will incorporate the old High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes, are being built from the Edsal Road on I-395 at the Arlington County border south on I-95 to South Garrisonville in Stafford County. They are part of a public-private partnership similar to the one that built the now-open Express Lanes on I-495 in Virginia.

State Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton says construction is on schedule and under budget.

"Right now it's targeted for opening essentially in 16 or 17 months. There is a possibility that it may end up opening sooner than that," Connaughton says.

That means the lanes could open in February 2015.

The 95 Express Lanes will function just like those on the Beltway, with an EZ Pass needed to pay the congestion-based tolls.

Planners hope that new lanes will make the free main lanes run with less congestion.

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