The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 8 to 2 Tuesday to endorse the expansion of the 495 Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge. This project is a critical step in alleviating the worst traffic bottleneck in Northern Virginia by adding nearly 3 miles to the existing I-495 HOT lanes.
The $550 million project, which if approved, could begin widening the section of the Beltway as early as next year. The County’s endorsement is not required for the project to proceed since it is under the state’s control, but Fairfax’s blessing was seen as a crucial vote of confidence for the proposed plan in Virginia. It was also critical to keep the momentum moving forward for the State of Maryland’s plans for improvements to the American Legion Bridge and managed lanes on the Beltway and I-270.
495 NEXT will greatly benefit Fairfax County and the region by reducing cut-through traffic in surrounding neighborhoods, reducing commute times, reducing motor vehicle accidents at the bottleneck, providing funding for improved mass transit and creating 3 miles of pedestrian and bike trails just to name a few of the benefits. The plan is projected to move an additional 2,500 people per hour before Maryland lanes open in 2026 and an additional 7,600 people per hour by 2045.
NVAR has joined in support of this project with over 20 other Northern Virginia Chambers and business organizations in our region.