An early arrival in the transportation world?

The Virginia Department of Transportation and the 95 Express Lanes announced Thursday that 29 miles of high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on I-95 spanning from Garrisonville Road in Stafford County to the Edsall Road area on I-395 could open as early as December. They were originally slated to open in early 2015.

The two entities are encouraging drivers, who think they might want to try the toll lanes once they are open, to start learning how they’ll work. They are also encouraging motorists who don’t have one yet — to get an E-ZPass.

“The 95 Express Lanes are on track for an early opening which means drivers should start preparing now,” said VDOT Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick in a news release announcing the early opening. “The conversion from the existing HOV lanes to Express Lanes will mean changes in traffic patterns, rules of the road and an E-ZPass requirement.”

Even if you don’t plan on using the Express Lanes, the new traffic patterns will impact all drivers who travel on I-95, he added.

Motorists will need an E-ZPass or an E-ZPass® FlexSM to travel on the 95 Express Lanes when they open. However, carpools with three or more people will be able to use the road for free as long as they have their E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode.

“All drivers will be able to benefit from the 95 Express Lanes when they open later this year, but it’s important to learn about the new travel option before your first trip,” said Kevin Ginnerty, Director of Project Delivery, Transurban, which built the HOT lanes. “Drivers should make sure that they are equipped with an E-ZPass and learn about the Express Lanes via the resources on our website – so they can take advantage of a faster, more predictable trip when the lanes open.”

The Post’s Dr. Gridlock offers these tips for how the new HOT lanes will work.