Plans to extend I-495 Express toll lanes to Legion pass important federal review

Traffic on the American Legion Bridge connecting Maryland and Virginia.(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The plans to extend the Interstate 495 Express toll lanes up to the American Legion Bridge have just passed an important federal review.

Next up for the plan is the design and construction phase.

The 495 NEXT Northern Extension express lanes will run between the Dulles Toll Road and the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and they are expected to be a big time saver.

“NEXT” stands for Northern Extension from the Dulles Toll Road.

“The 24 minutes that we’re referencing is for folks that are driving on the express lanes in that stretch on 495,” said Michelle Holland, communications manager the Virginia Department of Transportation Megaprojects.

“Some of the local roads will also see reduced traffic on them — such as Georgetown Pike,” she said.

Construction is expected to begin next year with the lanes up and running in 2025.

“With all of our Express Lanes — transit and multi modal benefits are a huge priority to us,” Holland said. 

She said it will also include a new bike and walking trail. 

“Bicycle and pedestrian access across the bridge crossings that cross over 495,” Holland said. 

She said this is part of an ongoing effort to grow their network of Express Lanes in Northern Virginia.

“That includes an existing 14 mile stretch of 495 Express Lanes from the Springfield interchange to near the Dulles Toll Road in 495 interchange,” Holland said. “We’ve always been aware that there is a lot of congestion in that northern stretch of I-495, leading up to the American Legion bridge. There needed to be a solution.”

The funding will also will go toward buying busses and maintaining operations.

See detailed maps of the project on its website.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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