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Megaprojects

I-495 Southside Express Lanes Study

Fairfax County and City of Alexandria, Virginia to Prince George's County, Maryland

Area Maps

Project at a Glance
Begin Date
January 2022

Est Completion Date
Final Approvals Expected: Fall 2023/Winter 2024

Phase
Study

Cost
$6.8 million (Study)

Lengths and Limits
Springfield Interchange to MD 210 (11 mi)

Locality
Alexandria and Fairfax

District
Northern Virginia

Contact
Email the Study Team

Nick Nies, AICP
Project Manager
703-259-3752
Michelle T. Holland
Communications
703-586-0487

VDOT held public information meetings to provide information about the I-495 Southside Express Lanes study, and to seek public input. A virtual meeting option was held on May 18, as well as, three in-person meeting options on May 19, May 23, and May 25.

The public information meeting Website and Materials are available for reference.

View Materials

Click here to view a recording of the virtual meeting.

Read more in the ad.

View our April study newsletter.

View our recent press release. 

About the Study

VDOT, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and other federal, state and local agencies in Virginia and Maryland, is conducting an environmental study to potentially extend the express lanes system on the southern section of I-95/I-495 (Capital Beltway), by 11 miles from the Springfield interchange (I-95/I-395/I-495) in Fairfax County, Virginia, across the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, to the MD 210 interchange in Prince George’s County, Maryland. This location was identified in the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s adopted I-95 Corridor Improvement Plan as an area for additional study.

The 495 Southside Express Lanes study is included in VDOT’s current Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP), as well as in the National Capital Region's Visualize 2045 Constrained Long Range Plan (CLRP) as of June 2021. The study will evaluate a one-lane express lanes alternative, a two-lane express lanes alternative, a no build alternative, and be informed by agency and public input.

The Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, the southernmost connector of Virginia and Maryland on I-495, fully opened to traffic in May 2008. The design of the bridge included additional space for future transportation needs, and was designed to accommodate future transit across the bridge.

This study is being coordinated with surrounding stakeholders including localities and the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration. The study also will be informed by a Transit and Transportation Demand Management Study to be initiated by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and coordinated with the Maryland Transit Administration.

Schedule
Begin Study - January 2022
Begin Data Collection and Analysis and Initial Coordination with Partnering and Local Agencies - January 2022
Begin Public and Stakeholder Outreach - Spring 2022
Virtual Public Information Meeting - May 18, 2022
In-Person Public Information Meetings - May 19, 23 & 25, 2022
Virtual and In-Person Public Information Meetings Comment Deadline - June 21, 2022 (The comment period is now closed.)
Public Information Meeting - Fall 2022/Winter 2023
Public Hearing for Environmental Assessment - Spring/Summer 2023
Complete Environmental Assessment/Approvals Expected - Fall 2023/Winter 2024

Goals and Objectives

  • Provide Express Lane system continuity 
  • Provide additional travel choices
  • Reduce congestion 
  • Improve travel reliability
  • Improve safety   
  • Provide consistency with local and regional plans

Documents and Studies

As the 495 Southside Study progresses, the Environmental Assessment and related documents will be made available.

Resource Identification and Impact Analysis Methodologies for the Interstate 495 Southside Express Lanes Study

Note:

Document development was informed by local, state, and federal agency input as part of Virginia’s NEPA and Clean Water Act Merged Process

Methodologies for identifying and assessing impacts on cultural and historic resources, air quality, noise, hazardous materials, engineering, extreme weather/resiliency/sea level rise/climate change, and traffic analyses during the NEPA review are not discussed in this document. Methodologies for these resources are developed in accordance with applicable Federal, state, and local laws, regulations, guidance, and policies and will be discussed in the Environmental Assessment and supporting documentation.  

Additional VDOT Guidance Document Resources:

Noise Analysis 

Air Analysis 

Cultural Resources

NEPA Programs

Project Numbers
UPC: 117217

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Page last modified: June 22, 2022