The Express Lanes have come a long way since the early 2000s. That’s when the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) partnered with one of the world’s largest toll road operators, Transurban, to create faster travel options in Northern Virginia. The rest is history.


Let’s take a trip down memory lane with the 495 and 95 Express Lanes.

495 Express Lanes Timeline

Early 2000s: VDOT begins planning a highway expansion to address traffic on the Capital Beltway in Virginia. Community members don’t support the initial plan to add regular lanes because it was costly, disruptive to the local area and lacked transit options.

2002: The private sector approaches VDOT with a new plan to build 4 HOT (high occupancy or toll) lanes. This plan would cost fewer tax dollars, offer new options to carpool and take the bus, and disrupt far fewer homeowners and businesses—VDOT approves it.

2007: VDOT finalizes its long-term agreement with the private partners – Fluor-Lane, responsible for the project’s design and construction, and Transurban, responsible for financing and operating the project.

2008: Construction kicks off.

2012: The 495 Express Lanes open.

95 Express Lanes Timeline

2004: VDOT accepts Transurban and Fluor-Lane’s proposal to ease congestion along the I-95 corridor by extending the HOT lanes.

2012: VDOT finalizes its long-term contract with the private partners and construction of the Lanes begins.

2014: The 95 Express Lanes open.

395 Express Lanes timeline

2017: In February, VDOT accepts Transurban’s proposal to extend the 95 Express Lanes 8 miles north to bring new travel choices to the I-395 corridor. Construction begins in the summer.

2019: The 395 Express Lanes open.


The Express Lanes are a result of a public-private partnership between VDOT and Transurban. VDOT owns and oversees the Lanes while Transurban is responsible for the financing and operations.

Thanks to partnerships with other organizations, the Express Lanes continue to offer better and faster ways to travel throughout the area.

Virginia Department of Transportation

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) builds, maintains and operates the third largest state-maintained highway system in the country. That’s more than 58,000 miles of highway throughout Virginia. VDOT enters into public-private partnerships, like the one with Transurban, to help deliver on what the state needs to keep people moving.

Learn more about VDOT.


Transurban is a global leader in toll road financing, development, operations and technology across North America and Australia. It’s all made possible through its public-private partnerships. With more than 900-miles and counting of roads, tunnels and bridges, Transurban works with governments to offer people a better way to travel for years to come. Take the Express Lanes in the Washington, D.C. metro for example. Its more than 40 miles of roads serve millions of customers on the move.

Learn more about Transurban.

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) keeps people and goods moving throughout the state safely, affordably and reliably. Because when it comes to rail travel, public transportation and commuter services, DRPT has your back.

Learn more about DRPT.

The Federal Highway Administration

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) makes sure that America’s roads and highways continue to be among the safest and most technically sound in the world. It supports state and local governments to design, build and maintain the country’s highways as well as federally and tribal-owned lands.

Learn more about FHWA.

Community grant programs

We’re proud to connect with our fellow Northern Virginia communities as their long-term partner. Our community grant programs are our way of supporting the neighborhoods in which we operate.

The Express Lanes awards grants quarterly for the following programs:

  • The Express Lanes Community Grant Program
  • The 495 NEXT Community Grant Program

Ready to apply?

Head over to our community grant programs form when you’re ready to apply.

Have questions? Express Lanes Community Grant Program Overview and Guidelines for the full scoop on grant opportunities.


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Transurban is working to grow the Express Lanes across Virginia and in other markets. Now is your chance to be a part of something big.

Got drive to grow in your career? Learn more about Transurban's open positions and apply.

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