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95 Express Lanes Builder Invited to Apply for Loan

By Potomac Local News April 25, 2012 1:51 pm

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Photo: Mary Davidson

Commuters use a busy Interstate 95 near Woodbridge on a weekday morning. (Mary Davidson)

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – The private developer of the 95 Express Lanes project has been tapped by the federal government to apply for a loan to help pay for the lanes.

Transurban-Fluor will convert the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Interstate 95, from Dumfries to Edsall Road in Alexandria, to toll lanes. The lanes will be extended from Dumfries to Va. 610 in North Stafford to complete the 29-mile, $940 million 95 Express Lanes corridor.

The loan is called a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or TIFIA loan, from the U.S. Department of Transportation. If awarded to Transurban-Fluor, would cover $928 million of the total cost of the project.

In December, Virginia officials announced taxpayers would float $97 million of the project cost.

“President Obama called for ‘an America built to last,’ and the TIFIA program can help us achieve that,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary LaHood. “A little TIFIA goes a long way for communities that use these loans to leverage additional funding so they can tackle the big picture transportation projects this country needs.”

What is this?

Work on the lanes is already underway, as a portion of the HOV lanes from Springfield to Dumfries has been closed each night this week for initial test boring.

When complete, the lanes will be tolled 24-hours a day for single drivers. Vehicles with three or more occupants will be able to use the lanes for free. Currently, use of the lanes is restricted to vehicles with three or more occupants between 6 and 9 a.m., and 3:30 to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

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