Will construction in NoVa pay off for drivers?

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

ALEXANDRIA – Will the flurry of transportation projects in Northern Virginia pay off?

That question was front and center Thursday as the Virginia Department of Transportation held a media briefing to give updates on projects like the Beltway Express Lanes, Dulles Rail and the Wilson Bridge.

“You could see your travel time reduced significantly,” says John Lynch, VDOT’s Regional Transportation Program Director.

He pointed to the Beltway Express Lane project, which is adding two new High Occupancy Toll lanes in each direction between Springfield and the Dulles Toll Road.

“If you got in the general purpose lanes today at Springfield and were coming up to Tysons, you’re talking about a 30 to 40 minute trip. Once (the Express) facility opens and you use it, you’re going to be going at 55 miles per hour for essentially that 12 to 14 miles.”

That could cut the normal rush hour commuting time in half for the people who use the lanes, he says.

VDOT leaders also gave updates on when some of the region’s so-called mega projects will be opening.

Here is a quick snapshot:

  • The Beltway Express lanes are scheduled to open late this year.
  • The first phase of the Dulles Rail project — which runs from East Falls Church, through Tysons Corner and ends at Wiehle Avenue in Reston — is scheduled to open late next year.
  • Construction is scheduled to start this year on the 95/395 Express lane project — which will extend High Occupancy Toll lanes from Stafford County to Edsall Road, just inside the Beltway.
  • The Wilson Bridge Project — which includes the ongoing work at the Telegraph Road interchange — is scheduled to be completed in June of next year.

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