About 495 NEXT

    Project Overview

    The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) conducted an environmental study for the project, which would extend the 495 Express Lanes by approximately three miles from the I-495 and Dulles Toll Road interchange to the vicinity of the American Legion Bridge.

    Virginia's 495 Express Lanes Northern Extension, also referred to as 495 NEXT, is being developed as an independent, stand-alone project that will be closely coordinated and compatible with plans for I-495 (Capital Beltway) in Maryland. 

    The environmental study, which was completed according to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and 23 CFR Part 771, evaluated site-specific conditions and potential effects the proposed improvements may have on air quality, noise, neighborhoods, parks, recreation areas, historic properties, wetlands and streams, and other resources. The study began in April 2018.

    Transportation Management Plan (TMP)

    Transportation Management Plan (TMP)

    Construction is in full swing throughout the 495 NEXT project corridor, resulting in lane closures and reduced shoulders. To keep travelers moving safety during construction VDOT has implemented a Transportation Management Plan (TMP).

    Project Schedule

    Construction kicked off on VDOT's 495 NEXT project in March 2022, along with final project design. The extended 495 Express Lanes are expected to open in late 2025, with the project completed in 2026.

    Timeline showing milestones for 495 NEXT project, including public meetings, final documents published, design and construction timeframes, and final project completion.


    Project Goals and Objectives

    VDOT, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), developed the project’s goals and objectives through a comprehensive process that included a review of previous studies and recent or planned projects; an analysis of traffic, environmental, and socioeconomic conditions in the region; and feedback from the public and federal, regional, state, and local agencies through a scoping process.

    The project will address the following needs:

    • Reduce congestion and improve roadway safety: As population and employment within the Washington, D.C. region continue to grow, the increase in traffic volumes and travel demand along the I-495 corridor will result in increased congestion, delays, and safety concerns. There is a need to address existing and future travel demand and relieve pressure on the general purpose lanes and the surrounding roadway network.
    • Provide additional travel choices: The existing 495 Express Lanes end at Old Dominion Drive, limiting travel choices for HOV and single-occupant vehicles within the study area, with no good options to bypass congestion or bottlenecks. As such, an additional option is needed to allow users to bypass congestion in the general purpose lanes and to choose a mode that best suits their individual needs.
    • Improve travel reliability: Congestion along the I-495 corridor results in highly variable travel speeds and travel times, which are expected to worsen as the population, employment, and traffic volumes in the region increase. Consistent, reliable, predictable travel times are needed for commuters and freight movement.

    Last updated: June 3, 2024

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