The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in the US and 95 Express Lanes, a joint venture between Transurban DRIVe and Fluor Enterprises, has started construction work to build 29 miles of express lanes on interstate 95 (I-95).
The project aims to increase the capacity of the corridor, reduce traffic congestion, encourage carpooling, and provide more public transportation options to users.
The collaboration between VDOT and 95 Express Lanes is a public-private partnership, with the private sector contributing $854m to the project and VDOT providing $71m.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said the project will give commuters transportation choices they never had before when travelling the I-95 corridor.
"This innovative public-private partnership will result in express lanes for carpoolers, sluggers and buses, while at the same time providing new transportation choices for all motorists to reach their destinations faster," McDonnell added.
VDOT and 95 Express Lanes will construct 29 miles of express lanes from Garrisonville Road in Stafford County to Edsall Road in Fairfax County, and will connect them to the I-495 express lanes already under construction.
Virginia transportation secretary Sean T Connaughton said the I-95 express lanes will provide added capacity to help reduce traffic congestion.
"The 495 and I-95 express lanes combined will create a region-wide, reliable pathway for carpoolers and buses, connecting major Virginia employment centres and military sites," Connaughton added.
The scope of work will also include building two new high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, improving existing HOV lanes, expanding some HOV lanes from two to three lanes, and expanding and adding new parking lots.
VDOT commissioner Greg Whirley said that now construction work has begun VDOT is urging motorists to pay extra attention as they travel through the I-95 corridor.
The project is expected to be open to traffic in early 2015.