Watch for weekend closings of I-95 HOV lanes

September 13, 2013

Workers on the 95 Express Lanes project build up the earth to support a future flyover ramp to connect with the interstate’s median. (Robert Thomson/The Washington Post)

A new round of HOV lane closings is starting this weekend along 29 miles of I-95/395 in Virginia where the 95 Express Lanes are under construction.

Through September, the HOV lanes will close late Friday nights and remain closed until Sunday afternoons. In October, the HOV lanes will close on Friday nights and remain closed until 4 a.m. Mondays. The HOV Lanes will remain open between the D.C. line and Duke Street, but expect travel delays on weekends in the construction zone farther south.

There are exceptions in the closing plan. On Oct. 11, the start of Columbus Day weekend, the HOV lanes will close overnight, but there will be no closings during the daytime. And on Sundays when the Redskins play at FedEx Field, the lanes will be open northbound by 2 p.m.

New Saturday bus
For some weekend travelers, this could help ease the congestion caused by the express lanes project: The Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation have launched a free Saturday bus service between the Potomac Mills Mall and the Franconia-Springfield Metro station.

For the next three months, the new Saturday Prince William Metro Direct service will start at 7:35 a.m. and end at 10 p.m. with buses running about every 45 minutes during peak hours. The buses will pick up and drop off passengers at the Potomac Mills Mall and the PRTC Transit Center ,where passengers can also transfer to OmniLink local buses serving eastern Prince William County, or they can continue to the Metro station.

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.
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Bill Turque | September 13, 2013