By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

ARTBA member firm Transurban has signed an agreement with Virginia to extend the 495 Express Lanes up to the American Legion Bridge over the Potomac River. The deal for more than $1 billion in investments over the next five years also includes an expansion of Interstate 95 toll lanes and a ramp and auxiliary lane in nearby parts of Northern Virginia.

Transurban funds and operates the 95 and 495 Express Lanes in the region and also is overseeing construction and operation of the 395 Express Lanes, converting an eight-mile stretch of highway’s high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes into toll lanes.

Transurban President of North America Jennifer Aument, who also currently serves as ARTBA’s P3 Division president, said the company is ready to get to work on the new projects, which will continue the improvement begun with the opening of the 495 and 95 express lanes over the past six years. More than 100,000 carpoolers and more than 800 buses use the toll network daily.

“It was one of the most congested roadways in the country and now we have millions of customers who are saving as much as 90 minutes a day on their commutes across the network in Northern Virginia,” Aument was quoted in The Washington Post. “We are going to roll up our sleeves … We are going to get out into the community, work with local stakeholders and local residents and put together the projects and the improvements that will best serve the community.”