The 10-mile, $670 million I-95 Express Lanes extension in Northern Virginia opened on Aug. 17, with the goal of giving drivers a faster and more reliable trip from Washington, D.C., to Fredericksburg, Virginia. With this addition, Virginia has the longest reversible toll lane in the country at more than 45 miles long.
The “FredEx” high-occupancy toll lane project is a public-private partnership between the Virginia DOT and Australian road operator Transurban. A joint venture between Roanoke, Virginia-based Branch Civil and Broomfield, Colorado-based Flatiron Construction built the lanes, which run between Aquia Harbor, Virginia, and Fredericksburg, Virginia. Transurban manages the lanes and financed the project.
The extension broke ground in 2019 and was slated to be finished in October 2022, but was delayed due to a contractual dispute over soil conditions. Branch Civil-Flatiron argued that plastic clay and silt material in the area required a different construction approach and affected its ability to keep the project on schedule. In 2021 an arbitrator ruled that the JV was entitled to a price adjustment and more time to complete the work.
The new extension picks up where the I-95 express lanes currently end, just past Route 610 in Stafford County, Virginia. So far the state has built nearly 100 miles of express lanes on I-95, I-66, I-395 and I-495, the Washington Post reported.
There is a little more work to be done before the extension project is fully complete: The second phase entails four new on/off ramps in busy areas. They are scheduled to open this winter, according to Transurban.