Despite the bitterly cold weather, VDOT and their contract crews managed to get more than 60 regulatory and pricing signs that were installed but covered on the new Express Lanes on I-64 unveiled in advance of the January 10 scheduled opening of the Express Lanes, to which that section of the former HOV lanes are being converted.
The new lanes are scheduled to become operational at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The Express Lanes are intended to help ease congestion on an 8.4-mile stretch between the I-264 and I-564 interchanges.
Once tolling begins, Express Lanes will be free and open to all drivers outside of the Express Lane operating hours, which will be Monday through Friday from 5 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. Motorists will need an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex to use the lanes during operating hours.
Motorists wanting to ride toll-free during operating hours must meet the HOV-2+ (High Occupancy Vehicle) requirement and have an E-ZPass Flex transponder switched to “HOV ON”. To pay the variable toll during operating hours, solo drivers may use a standard E-ZPass transponder or an E-ZPass Flex with “HOV ON” covered.
A Few Express Lanes Facts (from VDOT):
- 8.4 miles in Norfolk in the existing HOV reversible roadway. (HOV lanes converted to Express Lanes).
- From approximately the I-264/I-64 Interchange to I-564.
- Dynamic Pricing-the toll will vary based on number of vehicles in the lanes at the time.
- Operating Hours: 5am-9am (westbound) 2pm-6pm (eastbound)-MONDAY-FRIDAY only
- All motorists using the Express Lanes during operating hours will need either an E-ZPass or an E-ZPass FLEX transponder.
- Solo motorists will be able to ride the HOV+2 lanes for the first time during operating hours with an E-ZPass and by paying the variable toll.
- Carpoolers who wish to ride the lanes for FREE need an E-ZPass FLEX transponder turned to the “HOV ON” mode.
- VDOT’s goal is to move more people. It’s estimated the Express Lanes will move about 17 percent of the traffic out of the General Purpose Lanes and into the Express Lanes.
- Outside operating hours, the lanes are open to all motorists-free of charge.
- There will be two regulatory signs announcing where the lanes begin and two pricing signs announcing the toll rate at the time, before a motorist commits to using the lanes.
For additional information, including where to purchase an E-ZPass or E-ZPass transponder, please go to their support website: http://64ExpressLanes.org
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