Fort Myer began work to improve travel conditions where the northbound 495 Express Lanes join the regular lanes in May 2014. The 1.5-mile project will allow traffic to travel on the left shoulder of northbound I-495 from where the 495 Express Lanes end to the George Washington Parkway. The existing shoulder will be rebuilt to accommodate traffic. The shoulder is open to all traffic during peak travel periods. A lane-use management system, with green arrows and red “X’s”, similar to the lane-control system on I-66, alerts travelers when the shoulder is available.
The project includes several safety enhancements such as upgraded concrete barriers in the median of I-495, new cameras and electronic highway signs to help with incident response and traveler information, and rehabilitating the pavement for a smoother ride.
All travelers and buses will benefit from the new capacity and improved merge. There will be no barrier separation between the shoulder lane and the regular Beltway lanes, ensuring easy access for travelers.