Provided by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
Officials from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Department of Defense’s Washington Headquarters Services and Transurban, gathered today to open the newly reconfigured and improved Pentagon South Parking Lot. Currently, more than 1,800 buses and about 3,400 “sluggers” on average pass through the South Parking Lot each day. Improvements to the lot include new bus-only travel lanes and reconfigured HOV/commuter and “slug” lanes that were designed to enhance traffic flow, connectivity and safety in this heavily traveled area of the Pentagon Reservation.
The Pentagon South Parking Lot
The enhancements to the South Parking Lot are part of the larger I-395 Express Lanes Project, and will minimize an existing bottleneck at the South Rotary Road and Eads Street intersection, in order to accommodate the future connection to and from the 395 Express Lanes.
“The changes to the South Parking Lot are going to have a positive impact on the thousands of commuters traveling to and from the Pentagon Reservation each day,” said Susan Shaw, Megaprojects Director of the Virginia Department of Transportation. Shaw continued, “This important feature of the 395 Express Lanes project reinforces VDOT’s commitment to support travel choices and alternative travel modes throughout our roadway network in Northern Virginia. We want to thank our partners at the Pentagon and Transurban for sharing this commitment and helping make today’s accomplishment a reality.”
With nearly 25,000 employees, both military and civilian, the Pentagon Reservation is one of the region’s busiest commuter locations and transit points for commuters. The South Parking Lot serves as the destination point for many, as well as a transfer hub for people who haven’t yet reached their final destination. Additionally, this and other parking lots at the Pentagon are used as staging areas for several high-profile and widely-attended regional events such as Rolling Thunder, Army Ten-Miler and the Marine Corps Marathon. The reconfiguration and improvements being recognized today will improve traffic flow and safety for cars, buses and pedestrians who rely on the South Parking Lot.
“We are very pleased with the improved accessibility these changes will provide for employees and visitors of the Pentagon,” said Sajeel Ahmed, Acting Director of Administration and Organizational Policy for the Office of the Chief Management Officer. “These improvements are the result of more than two years of intensive planning and hard work among all partners, and we are proud to finally be able to deliver these improvements to commuters who rely on our infrastructure in order to do their jobs.”
“Transurban is proud to have achieved another milestone alongside our Virginia partners on the road to opening the I-395 Express Lanes this fall,” said Karl Rohrer, Vice President of Delivery for Transurban. “The Pentagon South Parking Lot improvements are a true complement to the improved mobility, expanded transit and additional choice that the Express Lanes will provide travelers throughout the 395 corridor.”
The Pentagon South Parking Lot’s new, dedicated bus loop is intended to decrease conflicts between passenger vehicles and buses. Additional features include new pedestrian sidewalks with ornamental fencing and barriers; new signage and pavement markings indicating the slug lanes within the parking lot; and new lighting for the bus loop, sidewalk and slug lanes.
The $480 million I-395 Express Lanes Northern Extension Project is being delivered through a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Transurban. The Pentagon South Parking Lot improvements cost approximately $10 million, and are funded by a federal “Fast Lane” grant, as well as a combination of VDOT and federal funds. Under a contract with Transurban, Lane Construction is the builder of the overall project, and AECOM Engineering completed the project’s design. The eight-mile 395 Express Lanes extension is slated to open in late 2019.