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Rooftop Groundbreaking for HOT Lanes

"We have done it," Virginia Transportation Secretary Pierce R. Homer said this morning, just before the ceremonial groundbreaking for the HOT lanes project along the Capital Beltway. He was referring to the successful development of a construction program, but quickly pointed out that there's an enormous amount of construction and disruption ahead over the next five years.

Homer and other public and private leaders of the HOT (high occupancy or toll) lanes project were standing under a tent on the roof of a Tysons Corner Center garage, just after this morning's line of storms rolled through. The Capital Beltway, where the heavy lifting gets underway starting tonight, was just below to the east.

Homer said the project would not have gotten this far without the leadership of U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters, who is an advocate for such public-private partnerships and for the variable tolling system that the HOT lanes will use when they open in 2013.
Thomas J. Barrett, a retired vice admiral and deputy secretary of transportation, said Virginia is a "national leader" innovative solutions to traffic congestion.

Barrett said public-private partnerships such as the HOT lanes benefit the nation by "substituting private capital for fuel tax revenues."

The HOT lanes will likely be the first major test of these ideas in our region. The Fluor-Transurban consortium will build and operate the four new lanes in a partnership with the state government. The first phase of construction will widen the Beltway by four lanes. Once that's done, the inner four lanes will be converted into the HOT lanes.

Homer today continued to emphasize the role of transit and carpooling in the HOT lanes, a concept the state hopes to replicate along I-95/395. Buses and carpoolers will have free access to the HOT lanes.

Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, said the Beltway "is really the main street for this part of Northern Virginia," and "adding capacity to this main street is critical."

By Robert Thomson  |  July 22, 2008; 1:19 PM ET
Categories:  Construction , Driving , Events , Transportation Politics  
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So they didn't break any ground at the groundbreaking?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"We have done it," Virginia Transportation Secretary Pierce R. Homer said this morning, referring to further attempts to make traffic worse attempting to get from DC and Montgomery County from Fairfax County. Homer further added, "Our design will allow thousands more cars to dump onto the Beltway approaching the Legion Bridge, causing backups all the way to the Springfield interchange, unless you pay $2 per mile to reach the backup sooner. Further, it will be much more expensive and require a lot more pain to add more lanes across the Potomac if my Maryland counterparts ever decide to be productive and not just have meetings and discussions about how bad things are."

Posted by: Steven | July 22, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

What ever happened to FHWA's concept of "logical termini" for transportation projects? LOgical termini means you start the project where a lot of traffic gets on and end it where a lot of traffic gets off. A state line is not a logical termini...

Posted by: Woodley Park | July 22, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: WP, Take a look at the route map on this page:

The route makes sense, doesn't it? Springfield Interchange to I-66 and Dulles Toll Road. If the I-95/395 HOT lanes get built, there will be a passage for buses and carpoolers from Woodbridge, around the Beltway, and out to the Dulles area.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | July 22, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Dr. G:

They left out the opportunity to run the HOT lanes all the way into PG county over the Wilson Bridge. (However, the Virginia side doesn't look any where near as done as the Maryland side, not even counting the Telegraph Rd. interchange.)

Posted by: wlevey | July 22, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone want to go to PG county?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Cheaper drugs???

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

National Harbor, Andrews AFB, FedEx Field, Six Flags America, University of Maryland, Comcast Center, Byrd Stadium, College Park Airport, National Agricultural Research Center, NASA Goddard, Bowie State University, Washington Bible College, Bowie Baysox Stadium, Rosecroft Raceway, The Equestrian Center, Show Place Arena

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Dr. G., I disagree. While the HOT lanes will certainly help those heading from Springfield to Tysons, I-66 to Tysons, Springfield to the Dulles Toll Road, etc., the main problem on that segment of the Beltway is those heading to Maryland. While the Dulles Toll Road is a semi-logical terminus for the HOT lanes project, I-270 spur is a much more logical one. My belief is that the HOT lanes will terminate at Georgetown Pike, not because Georgetown Pike is a place where many northbound drivers exit the Beltway (in fact I'm pretty sure more cars get on going north than get off there), but it was the only decent place to end the lanes prior to the state line. FHWA says a state line is not a logical terminus for a transportation why was an exception made here?

Posted by: Woodley Park | July 23, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I get my drugs from Canada.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"Why would anyone want to go to PG county?

Posted by: | July 23, 2008 12:39 PM

Cheaper drugs???

Posted by: | July 23, 2008 1:48 PM "

How about for luxury top-of-the-line homes at far more reasonable prices than in NOVA and Mont. Co. in areas where Blacks are welcomed rather than discouraged from living?

I just love how guys like you disparage PG County. Your "hating" is motivated by jealousy because you see people you were brought up to consider inferior to yourself living in homes you'll never be able to afford.

I see it all the time. Guys like you can only enter my neighborhood - and many others in PG County - when you show up to install or repair something in somebody's house. You're the cable guy or deck builder who asks a million questions about my home theater and art collection. I'll bet my CARS cost more than YOUR house.

So shut up and enjoy Manassas, Stafford County, West Virginia, the trailer park or whatever other low-income lily white area people like me would never even set foot in, much less want to live in.

Posted by: ceefer66 | July 23, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

ceefer66, get out of here you racist chimp

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

PG county is great tahts were I roll to score my crack

Posted by: TomIII | July 23, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

There wouldn't be a problem if Marylanders stayed in Maryland and Virginians stayed in Virginians. Pick your state and STFU.

Posted by: Pete | July 23, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"ceefer66, get out of here you racist chimp"


I knew the truth would hurt. Otherwise you wouldn't have answered.

Thanks for proving my point, racist.

Posted by: ceefer66 | July 23, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse


PG county is great tahts were I roll to score my crack

Posted by: TomIII | July 23, 2008 5:23 PM"

Looks like "scoring your crack" has interfered with your ability to spell. Then again, racist "crack**s" are always ignorant losers. That's why they open their mouths and say dumb S**t.

You guys sure are big men behind a computer.

Posted by: ceefer66 | July 23, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse


ceefer66, get out of here you racist chimp

Posted by: | July 23, 2008 5:06 PM "

Look at that. You don't even the cajones to post an anonymous handle.

Then again, racist punks like you talk a lot of smack when you have anonymity.

Everyone, including you, knows you wouldn't dare say that to my face.

Posted by: ceefer66 | July 23, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Why must everything turn into a race issue? There are over 850,000 reasons to come to Prince Georges County according the US Census. The original topic of this blog post was "Rooftop Groundbreaking for HOT Lanes." The VIRGINIA Hot-Lanes have NOTHING directly to do with Prince George's County. The Springfield Interchange, the southern terminus of the HOT lanes, is at least 6 miles from the Alexandria/Prince George's County Border.

To wlevey and everyone else who posted on the original topic:

It would have been very nice to run the HOT lanes across the Wilson Bridge into Maryland. This would have given VDOT a chance to widen the Beltway between Van Dorn Street and the Eisenhower Avenue Connector. This is a project that is in jeopardy of not being funded by VDOT. HOT lanes extended east into Prince George's County and a logical northern terminus at the I-270 Spur, would have created 30 miles of a continuous, newly widened Beltway.

Posted by: SVE | July 23, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

850,000 reasons? The entire population is made up of prostitutes?

Posted by: ceeferisgay | July 24, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

reefer?, are you a product of DC public schools or PG? I always thought DC's were the worst, but I could be wrong.

Posted by: Emilio | July 24, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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