The Washington Times - December 6, 2011, 02:07PM

A $940 million transportation project along Interstate 95 in Northern Virginia is one step closer to coming to fruition, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Tuesday.

The state and a private contractor have agreed in principle on terms to create 29 miles of High Occupancy Vehicle/High Occupancy Toll (HOV/HOT) lanes in Northern Virginia, between Edsall Road in Fairfax County and Garrisonville Road in Stafford County.

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Fluor-Transburban is providing $843 million for the project and the state will provide $97 million. A final close is scheduled to occur mid-2012.

Mr. McDonnell predicted that along with congestion relief, the project would support nearly 8,000 jobs during the construction period and stimulate $2 billion in economic activity.

“Through this action, we will put to work nearly $1 billion in private sector investment to address one of Virginia’s most critical transportation needs,” said Mr. McDonnell. “The project will bring congestion relief and new travel choices to Northern Virginians.”

Motorists have the option to pay to use the toll lanes, while cars with three passengers or more are exempt.
The state will also invest $200 million to expand bus service in Spotsylvania, Stafford, Prince William and Fairfax counties, and construct more than 3,000 new park and ride spaces.

Under the agreement, Fluor-Transurban will operate under a fixed-price, design-build contract, manage and fund all operations for 73 years after construction, and, in theory, share revenue with the state if the lanes are successful.

Virginia and Fluor-Transurban are already working in concert on 14 miles of I-495 HOT lanes between Tysons Corner and the Springfield Interchange, a project that is scheduled to be finished by late 2012.

The I-95 project originally had included 6 miles of HOV/HOT lanes along I-395 in Arlington County and the city of Alexandria, but the state abandoned those plans in February, citing Arlington County’s lawsuit over the project.