Correction to This Article
This article misstated the projected tolls for the Capital Beltway high-occupancy toll lanes in Virginia. Tolls will average $1 a mile, not $1 an hour.

Project Begins For HOT Lanes On the Beltway

HOT lanes will be free for vehicles carrying three or more people, motorcycles and buses traveling along the Beltway, the outer loop of which is shown above.
HOT lanes will be free for vehicles carrying three or more people, motorcycles and buses traveling along the Beltway, the outer loop of which is shown above. (By Tracy A. Woodward -- The Washington Post)
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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Ground was broken last month on a $2 billion public-private transportation project that will bring high-occupancy toll lanes to the Capital Beltway.

The 14 miles of HOT lanes, which will include two lanes in each direction, will stretch from the Springfield interchange to just north of the Dulles Toll Road. Motorcycles, buses and vehicles carrying three or more people will be able to travel the lanes for free, while other motorists can pay a toll to use the HOT lanes or continue to ride in the regular lanes for free.

Toll prices will fluctuate based on traffic -- the heavier the traffic the higher the tolls -- to ensure that the HOT lanes remain free-flowing. According to projections, tolls will average $1 an hour.

In addition to the HOT lanes, 50 bridges and 10 interchanges will be rebuilt, and three interchanges will be added at Jones Branch Drive, Westpark Drive and Route 29.

The outer lanes are scheduled to be completed in 2010. Then traffic will be shifted to the new lanes so work on the inner lanes can take place from 2009 to 2012, according to project officials.

Here is a map of what the project entails:


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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