HOT Lanes Prompting Stafford Noise Rule Changes
STAFFORD, Va. — Officials are slated to make an emergency exception to noise rules for high occupancy toll lane construction on Interstate 95.
Stafford County officials tonight will vote on a proposed amendment to the county’s noise ordinance that limits daytime noise to 65 decibels, 55 decibels at night. Work to extend two express lanes down the center median of I-95 from Dumfries to North Stafford will exceed 80 decibels, according to a county report.
The solution: make an exception for the construction because it will provide overall traffic relief for commuters in the area, the report states.
A resolution outlining the change is already written and awaiting approval by a final vote from the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, which meets tonight.
Without this amendment to the noise code, the builders of the High Occupancy Toll lanes dubbed 95 Express Lanes, Fluor-Lane 95, LCC, would be in violation of the county’s noise order. Officials said due to the nature of the work it would be impossible for Fluor-Lane, LLC to ever be in compliance with current rules.
Stafford County officials note a letter they received from the Assistant Attorney General of Virginia noting Fluor-Lane, LCC, and any road crew working for the Virginia Department of Transportation, are exempt from any local noise ordinance.
When complete in 2014, the 95 Express Lanes will carry traffic from North Stafford to Edsall Road in Alexandria, allowing single drivers to pay a toll to avoid traffic congestion or allow vehicles with three or more occupants to ride free with an approved E-Z Pass transponder. A variable toll rate will be used to charge drivers per mile for the use of the lanes, and tolls will go up or down depending upon how many cars in using the lanes.