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Capital Beltway High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes

Capital Beltway High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes
Project Type: 
Roadways and Bridges
Sponsor / Borrower: 
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
Credit Agreement Status: 
Active
TIFIA Assistance: 
$589 million
Primary Revenue Pledge: 
User Charges
Project Cost Details: 

$1.938 billion

Duration / Status: 

Construction began in spring 2008 and reached substantial completion on November 8, 2012. The facility opened to traffic on November 17, 2012.

The total length of the concession is 85 years - five years of construction and 80 years of operation.

Fiscal Year Closed: 
FY2008
Project Description: 

The Capital Beltway High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes project (officially the 495 Express Lanes) is a public-private partnership (P3) between VDOT and Capital Beltway Express, LLC (a joint venture of Fluor and Transurban). The project extends from the Springfield Interchange (south) to just north of the Dulles Toll Road (14 miles). Previously, the Capital Beltway had four lanes in each direction. Improvements included:

  • 14 miles of two new lanes in each direction
  • First time introduction of High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes to the Capital Beltway and reliable transit options to the Beltway and Tysons Corner, Virginia
  • Congestion-free network for carpools, vanpools, transit, and toll-paying motorists
  • Replacement of more than $260 million of aging infrastructure, including more than 50 bridges and overpasses
  • Construction of carpool ramps connecting I-95 with the Capital Beltway to create a seamless HOV network

Changes in the composition of the regional economy and shifts in employment patterns over the past 40 years have increased demand for all transportation facilities around the District of Columbia, particularly for roadways such as the Beltway that provide mobility between major suburban employment centers. Given that the last major improvements to the Beltway were completed in 1977, I-495 required substantial upgrades to keep pace with growing demand. According to the project’s website, the HOT lanes have considerably increased capacity, reducing congestion and cutting travel times by an average of 20 minutes per trip.

Funding Sources: 
  • Private Activity Bonds: $589M
  • TIFIA Loan: $589M
  • Commonwealth of Virginia Grant: $409M
  • Private Equity: $351M
Project Delivery / Contract Method: 

DBFOM (Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain)

Project Participants: 
Capital Beltway Express, LLC - Joint venture between Fluor and Transurban
Project Advisors / Consultants: 

Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

ATCS/CH2M Hill (GEC)

To USDOT TIFIA JPO:

  • TIFIA Legal Advisor: Nixon Peabody, Michael Vaccari and Virginia Wong
  • TIFIA Financial Advisor: Infrastructure Management Group: Sasha Page
Project Lender(s): 
Bondholders, USDOT TIFIA
TIFIA Credit Assistance Detail: 

Direct loan: $589 million.  The TIFIA loan holds a subordinate lien on a pledge of the project's toll revenues and interest income, after operations and maintenance expenses, certain capital expenditures, senior debt service reserve, and debt service payments to senior lenders.

Financial Status: 
The TIFIA credit agreement was signed in December 2007. TIFIA interest payments began in 2017, and principal repayments are scheduled to begin in 2032; final loan maturity is expected to be reached in 2047.
Innovations: 
  • Fully electronic toll collection using transponder technology
  • Dynamic tolling based on real-time traffic conditions
  • First HOT lane implemented in the state of Virginia
  • Largest financing of a HOT lanes project
  • First time a Private Activity Bond (PAB) was used for HOT lanes in the U.S. and the first time combined with TIFIA financing
Project Contacts: 

Larry O. Cloyed, PMP 
Senior Project Manager 
Virginia Department of Transportation 
Virginia Megaprojects Office 
6363 Walker Lane, Suite 500 
Alexandria, VA 22310 
Tel: (571) 483-2584 
Larry.Cloyed@VDOT.Virginia.gov

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