Ground broken on Fred Ex: 10-mile extension of Interstate 95 Express Lanes
State leaders today marked the start of construction on Fred Ex, a 10-mile extension of the I-95 Express Lanes in Northern Virginia.
Gov. Ralph Northam was joined at a groundbreaking ceremony by Congressman Rob Wittman, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine, VDOT Commissioner Stephen Brich, and Transurban, Virginia’s partner and operator of the Interstate 95 (I-95) and Interstate 495 (I-495) Express Lanes.
The Fredericksburg Extension project, known as “Fred Ex,” will provide new options for faster and more reliable travel along one of the nation’s most congested corridors by extending the dynamically-tolled express lanes from Route 610 to Route 17 near Fredericksburg.
“Sustaining economic prosperity in our Commonwealth will require a safe, reliable, and modern transportation network that can connect Virginians to opportunity and support positive growth,” said Northam. “Not only will this project reduce congestion and provide important corridor improvements, but as a result of this joint commitment from our public and private sector partners, this project is also estimated to create 9,100 jobs and generate $1.1 billion in economic activity for this fast-growing region.”
“The first district of Virginia is home to some of the most unique transportation challenges in the country, including one of the worst traffic hotspots in the nation—the I-95 corridor,” said Wittman. “Utilizing the express lanes’ public-private-partnership model will improve the quality of life for first district residents, provide new opportunities for small businesses to grow and expand, and help attract new businesses to the area.”
The project will add two new reversible express lanes along the median, which will be available at no charge to HOV 3+ and transit riders. In addition to extending the I-95 Express Lanes benefits to commuters, Fred Ex will also deliver new connection points, creating faster and easier access for the 28,000 workers at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
“Through this partnership with Transurban, Fred Ex will provide 66 percent more capacity during peak periods, ensuring Virginia taxpayers—and the flourishing communities along this corridor—are at the forefront of economic opportunity,” said Valentine.
The project is anticipated to cost approximately $565 million, which will be financed by Transurban without public subsidy. In addition, as part of the project agreement, Transurban will make a $277 million payment to the Commonwealth to advance transportation projects along the I-95 corridor, including the Northbound Rappahannock River Crossing.
“We are proud to join VDOT in extending the safety and reliability of the 95 Express Lanes to this region,” said Transurban North America President Jennifer Aument. “Whether it is using technology to make a trip faster, building new ramps to reach tomorrow’s commerce centers, or providing a little help to the schools, parks, and non-profits of the I-95 corridor—we look forward to working hand-in-hand with the Commonwealth to deliver the transformational transportation networks that Virginians deserve.”
A joint venture by Branch Civil and Flatiron was awarded the contract with Transurban to design and build the Fred Ex project. The project comprises 10 miles of new, two-lane, reversible express lanes and approximately 1.5 miles of an additional reversible express lanes within the existing I-95 Express Lanes footprint south of Garrisonville Road. Additionally, Transurban will create new express lanes access points at the Route 17 terminus, near Marine Corps Base Quantico, and a reversible ramp connection at Old Courthouse Road.
The project will renovate seven bridge structures, including the replacement of two existing bridges over I-95 at American Legion Road and Truslow Road. The Fred Ex project lanes are scheduled to open in late 2022.
More information about the project is available at www.expresslanes.com/projects/fredericksburg-extension.