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Speed limit increased on Virginia's Express Lanes

Monday - 6/24/2013, 4:05pm  ET

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The speed limit was increased to 65 mph on Virginia's Express Lanes. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The speed limit on the Express Lanes has increased to 65 mph through Northern Virginia.

"I think it's going to depend on your individual trip what kind of difference it will make," says Pierce Coffee, the director of marketing for Transurban. "But absolutely if you're able to travel ten mph, you're going to get to save a few minutes on the Express Lanes."

The mainline Beltway lanes still have a speed limit of 55 mph.

The plan for the Express Lanes was always to allow drivers to go faster than the mainline.

"We just needed to open the road, make sure everything was working as planned and actually perform some safety tests before we could increase the speed limit to 65 mph," Coffee says.

The Express Lanes operate with dynamic pricing, which charges drivers based on real-time traffic conditions. The elevated speed limited does not necessarily have any impact on what drivers pay.

"The new speed limit increase will help Northern Virginia Beltway drivers save even more time on their commute," Gov. Bob McDonnell released in a statement. "A faster trip on the Express Lanes improves access to key employment centers, sets the region up for growth and makes Northern Virginia an even more attractive place to live and work."

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