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VIDEO: 495 Express Lanes Confusion Continues

7:19 AM, Nov 20, 2012   |    comments
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SPRINGFIELD, Va. (WUSA) -- Drivers continue to struggle with navigating the entrance to the 495 Express Lanes on Tuesday morning. In the video above, you can see cars swerve or go across multiple lanes when drivers realize they're not in the correct lanes.

The Express Lanes have been open since Saturday morning. Six crashes have happened at the Northbound entrance,  which is in the two far left lanes just two miles after the Springfield interchange. The drivers in those crashes swerved into other cars, slammed on their brakes and even stopped in their tracks trying to avoid getting on the toll lanes. 

V-DOT and Transurban, the company that manages the lanes, say they are making these changes to help alleviate problems:

  • Adding additional colored reflectors to the channelizing posts (white barriers)
  • Changing digital messages on electronic signs to read: "new traffic pattern" and "use caution" and "two left lanes express lanes only" 
  • Extending the merge area and alert drivers sooner to the Express Lanes entrance
  • Heading north from Springfield Interchange, begin transitional striping (dotted line) in the area where the Springfield Interchange ramps meet the Beltway. This is nearly one mile south of current Express Lanes entrance; this striping more clearly indicates to drivers that the two left lanes will soon turn into Express Lanes
  • Heading north from Springfield Interchange, begin solid line warning drivers not to merge lanes approximately 700 feet sooner (further south) than where the solid line begins


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