Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell has announced that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will begin a project that will help ease traffic congestion on the I-495 Capital Beltway in Fairfax County by converting a shoulder into a travel lane during peak travel times from Old Dominion Drive to the George Washington Parkway Interchange, a distance of 1.5 miles.
"The additional lane will provide five travel lanes, helping traffic merge from the northern end of the I-495 Express Lanes facility to the regular Beltway and easing backups for drivers headed to the American Legion Bridge and into Maryland," said McDonnell. "This project is among several transportation improvements that will move traffic with greater ease, helping commuters get to their destinations sooner."
The $20 million project will rebuild the left shoulder of I-495 North so it can be converted to an additional travel lane. The lane will only be open during afternoon peak travel times and will be lane-controlled by overhead signals. There will remain a safety shoulder on the right side through this stretch of I-495.
The existing shoulder will be reconfigured to accommodate the change. The improvements are not expected to affect local bridges or overpasses.
Environmental work will begin this summer, with construction scheduled to start in mid-2014. The new lane will be open to traffic by late 2014.