NORFOLK — The state hopes to reduce traffic on the interstate by converting high-occupancy vehicle lanes into express lanes.
Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne announced Tuesday that 8.4 miles of HOV lanes on I-64, between I-564 and the I-264/64 interchange, will be converted to high-occupancy toll lanes.
The express lanes are expected to be open by December, according to a Virginia Department of Transportation news release.
“This conversion means motorists will have a choice when it comes to their morning and afternoon commutes,” Secretary Layne said in the release. “The move is long overdue and the express lanes are a much better use of our assets.”
Westbound express lanes will be open from 5-9 a.m. and eastbound lanes will be open 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to the release.
The express lanes could bring in $3.5 million in revenue in the next five years, according to the release.
An E-ZPass or an E-ZPass Flex transponder are required to travel in the HOT lanes.
E-ZPass owners who display their passes and travel on the express lanes will be charged and pay a toll determined by dynamic pricing.
Motorists traveling with passengers can drive in the express lanes for free if they have their E-ZPass Flex transponder switched HOV mode.
Crews will install overhead gantries and signs on the interstate later this month, according to the release.
“It’s important to remember that use of the express lanes is a voluntary choice made by drivers,” Charles Kilpatrick, VDOT commissioner, said in the release. “The conversion will decrease traffic on the general purpose lanes and ultimately benefit all commuters.”
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