The 95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension in Virginia has an opening date: December 2023.
Transurban — which runs the 495, 95 and 395 Express Lanes and is financing 100% of the project — made the announcement Monday.
“As you know, it’s been delayed. And we had been working with our partners to get the project back on track. And we’re looking to do so and deliver the project by December of 2023,” said Amanda Baxter, Transurban’s senior vice president for Virginia market and operations.
Baxter told WTOP one reason for the delays — Transurban had expected to be on track for an October 2022 delivery date — was soil conditions.
“The extent of those (soil conditions) were unrealized at the time. We knew that they were there, but the extent, not so much,” Baxter said. “Therefore, we had to take a step back, and then work with our contractor to figure out a new path forward, and we set the new date to be December of 2023.”
According to Baxter, one hurdle was accommodating different ways to get the needed construction done, “which did require another look at how the project was to be designed.”
“That was a lot of work. And this project is largely within the median of the 95 corridor. And it’s just moving a lot of earth in that area. So the extent of dealing with those soils were definitely unanticipated,” she said.
Transurban and Transurban’s design-build partner started construction on the 10-mile extension in 2019. According to the company, it’s 60% complete: A new Truslow Road Bridge has been completed, and reconstruction of the American Legion Road overpass and several new flyover ramps are underway.
Transurban’s project is a big one. It aims to deliver two new reversible high-occupancy toll lanes; seven new bridges; and new access points to U.S. Route 17, Old Courthouse Road and Marine Corps Base Quantico.
The company said the new Express Lanes will provide 66% more capacity during peak periods and will move 30% more people and 23% more vehicles, “helping reduce congestion along one of the Commonwealth’s worst ‘hot spots.'”
“It’s 10 miles, with several new access points along the corridor, and gets you 10 miles out of the congestion that people experience today,” Baxter said.
She laid out where the Express Lanes will take drivers: essentially from the 14th Street Bridge to Route 17 in Fredericksburg.
“That’s 395 Express Lanes and 95 Express Lanes,” Baxter said. “It is quite a feat … it’s one of the longest reversible systems that will be operated here in North America.”
More information is available online.
WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.
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