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Toll gantries rise, drivers not charged yet along I-95 express lanes

Tuesday - 3/18/2014, 5:32pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- New toll gantries are popping up in Northern Virginia on the northern end of the new express lanes that will open along Interstate 95/395 early next year.

Late last week, toll gantries were installed on Interstate 395 near Edsall Road. Five others have already been installed and nine other locations will see toll gantries added during the next few months.

These toll gantries read E-ZPass transponders or photograph license plates for drivers who don't have an E-ZPass. However these new toll gantries will not charge drivers yet. The machines will not be fully activated until the lanes open to drivers in 2015.

Virginia Department of Transportation crews will install the remaining toll gantries in the next few months. VDOT crews will also install new lane management and dynamic messages signs along the toll lanes. Of the 150 that be used in total, about 25 percent of them already have been installed.

These signs will tell drivers when the express lanes are open and closed. Like the existing HOV lanes, the toll lanes will be reversible to allow drivers to avoid rush hour traffic, but for a fee. Message signs will also tell drivers the price to use the express lanes.

Cars will three or more people can ride the lanes for free with an E-ZPass Flex transponder set to HOV mode.

Within the next month, crews will also finish constructing the new fly-over ramps at Garrisonville Road and Turkeycock Run, connecting the express lanes to the main lanes.

During rush hour, Turkeycock will mark the end of the toll lanes and the beginning of the standard HOV lanes, which continue all the way to across the 14th Street Bridge.

The express lanes will run 29 miles from Garrisonville Road in Stafford County to Alexandria.

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