Express Lanes Prepare for Heavy Travel over Memorial Day Weekend

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The 95 Express Lanes expect to handle a significant increase in travel later this week as many in the region head to the beach and other vacation destinations for the unofficial start to summer.  To save time on their Memorial Day journey last year, travelers took more than 171,000 trips on the 95 Express Lanes from May 20 to 22, 2015.

Beginning the afternoon of Thursday, May 26, through the evening of Friday, May 27, drivers traveling along the 95 Express Lanes corridor should expect heavy traffic volumes and increased demand requiring higher-than-average toll prices to best manage the traffic flow on the Lanes.

Travelers are advised to pay close attention to pricing and advisory signs along the 95 Express Lanes.  Substantial congestion on the regular lanes can lead to delays on the southern end of the 95 Express Lanes.  To help travelers, real-time roadway information is provided using overhead signs.  Drivers can also use the Express Lanes mobile app to check real-time toll prices, traffic cameras and advisory signs before departing.

When to go:

  • The busiest getaway travel times on the regular I-95 lanes and the 95 Express Lanes before Memorial Day weekend in 2015 were Thursday and Friday between noon and 6:00 p. m.  Delays were worse on Friday.  We expect those periods will again face the heaviest travel volumes
  • To avoid higher-than-average tolls and peak traffic, drivers should depart before noon on Thursday or after 6:00 p. m. on Friday.

On the road:

  • An advisory sign before the Quantico/Joplin Road exit will alert Express Lanes drivers to any delays ahead on the Lanes
  • Drivers can then decide whether to exit the Lanes at Joplin Road or continue to the end of the 95 Express Lanes near Garrisonville Road
  • If delays increase, signage before the Joplin Road exit will advise travelers to exit to the regular lanes
  • Express Assist crews will be available to help drivers who get stuck on the Lanes
  • Riding with family or friends?  If you have at least two passengers in your vehicle, don’t forget to put your E-ZPass® FlexSM in HOV mode for a toll-free trip

Stay up to date:

The 95 Express Lanes reversal schedule will be adjusted for holiday getaway traffic and to accommodate the Rolling Thunder event on Sunday, May 29.  Here’s what drivers can expect:

  • Thursday, May 26:  Southbound reversal begins one hour earlier at 10:00 a. m.
  • Friday, May 27:  Southbound reversal begins one hour earlier at 10:00 a. m.
  • Saturday, May 28:  Normal operations – Lanes reverse to northbound at 2:00 p .m.
  • Sunday, May 29:  Northbound Lanes will close around 7:30 a. m.  The Rolling Thunder event will access the Lanes via Opitz Boulevard with the support of Express Assist crews.  The Lanes will open around 11:00 a. m. again in the northbound direction
  • Monday, May 30:  Express Lanes remain northbound all day
  • Tuesday, May 31:  Normal operations – southbound reversal begins around 11:00 a. m. with Lanes opening by 1:00 p. m.

The 495 and 95 Express Lanes operate on I-495/Capital Beltway and I-95 to provide drivers with faster and more predictable travel options in Northern Virginia.  Together the 495 and 95 Express Lanes create a region-wide network of free-flowing lanes for nearly 40 miles from the Dulles Toll Road to Stafford County.  Delivered through a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Transurban, the Express Lanes give drivers reliable travel choices on two of northern Virginia’s most congested roadways.  For more information, please visit


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