Northern Virginia drivers could be spending less time in their vehicles in the coming years.
The Commonwealth of Virginia is partnering with Transurban to address transportation issues throughout Northern Virginia.
Gov. Ralph Northam made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday morning.
“My administration is committed to creating opportunity for Virginia families and businesses in every corner of the Commonwealth, and that requires having a safe, reliable transportation network,” Northam said. “I am pleased to announce these four projects that will bring significant improvements to I-495 and I-95, easing congestion, enhancing safety, and driving economic growth.”
Transurban is providing more than $1 billion for transportation projects in the region throughout five years, according to a release.
Officials will establish an Occoquan Auxiliary Lane that connects the Route 123 South ramp to I-95 and the ramp for Prince William Parkway West.
The project seeks to address traffic congestion in Occoquan.
“The I-95 bottleneck at the Occoquan Bridge has been a source of personal frustration and time stuck in traffic—valuable time that could be spent with family,” Senator Jeremy McPike said in a release. “With funding now in place, VDOT will begin the design and construction that our community has sought for years.”
Supervisor Ruth Anderson explained that the issue has been a priority for her office.
County residents brought it to Anderson’s attention during “think tanks” she hosted in 2016.
“Out of the think tanks, the residents’ ideas kind of gelled around the fact that I-95 congestion was causing some of the congestion on Old Bridge Road,” Anderson said. “So, they inspired us to get involved.”
A “reversible ramp” that connects the I-95 Express Lanes to Opitz Boulevard is being constructed, as well.
It will provide drivers with better access to Potomac Mills and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge.
Transportation experts are also looking to improve traffic congestion on I-495 and in the Fredericksburg area.
They will extend I-495 North Express Lanes to the American Legion Bridge, which connects Fairfax County with Montgomery County, Md.
In addition, the proposed Fredericksburg Extension Project (Fred Ex), which would extend the I-95 Express Lanes to Fredericksburg, is almost finalized.