Virginia officials and a private company have finalized a contract to build HOT lanes along Interstate 95, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Tuesday.
Fluor-Transurban will pay $843 million and the state will fund $97 million initially to build the high occupancy toll lanes along 29 miles of the highway between Edsall Road in Fairfax County and Garrisonville Road in Stafford County. However, the state also said it plans to kick in $200 million more to expand bus service and build more than 3,000 new park-and-ride spaces.
The toll lanes, similar to those being built on the Capital Beltway/Interstate 495, would be restricted to vehicles with multiple passengers that would travel for free or motorists willing to pay to use the less congested lanes. All other vehicles would be relegated to the regular lanes.
In exchange for the construction of the toll lanes, and maintenance of the lanes for 73 years, Fluor-Transurban would get to keep much of the profit from the tolls.
"Virginia recognizes it must get the most out of its existing transportation assets and find innovative solutions to move people and freight more efficiently," Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton said in a written statement. "With HOT lanes on both the Beltway and I-95, we will create a region-wide network of managed lanes that will enable travelers to get to and from some of Virginia's most important employment centers and military sites."
The project has been planned for years but got hung up in 2009 when the state pulled back from the plan and some local officials filed a lawsuit against it. The project was then scaled back earlier this year.