Welcome to the Potomac District
Maureen S. Caddigan, Supervisor
Potomac Magisterial District
Prince William County, Virginia
In her remarks from the November 18th BOCS meeting, Supervisor Caddigan reports on her attendance at the Virginia Association of Counties Annual Conference (where she serves on both the Board of Directors and the Education Steering Committee); the ribbon cutting for the Georgia Tech Research Institute at the Town of Quantico; reading at the Dumfries Elementary School as part of National Reading Week; the Interfaith Peace Conference to promote peace, harmony and tolerance; and a plan to maximize the number of recreational fields to be developed at Potomac Shores by sharing parking with St. John the Great High School.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has issued a reminder of the changing rules that will go into effect when the I-95 Express Lanes open in December. All drivers, including hybrid vehicles with clean fuel plates and carpoolers, will need an E-ZPass® or E-ZPass® FlexSM to use the Express Lanes. Trucks with more than two axles will not be permitted to use the lanes.
The I-95/395 HOV lanes are being converted to tolled express lanes for 29 miles between Route 610 in Stafford County and Edsall Road in Fairfax County. The lanes will use dynamic tolls to keep traffic flowing and provide a more predictable travel option on I-95. Drivers are encouraged to learn how to use the Express Lanes now and obtain an E-ZPass so that they can benefit when the Lanes open.
Here’s what carpoolers, drivers of hybrid vehicles with clean fuel plates, truckers and law enforcement need to know about the I-95 Express Lanes:
- Carpools need an E-ZPass Flex
- Carpools with three or more people can travel toll-free on the Express Lanes with an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode.
- E-ZPass Flex works like a standard E-ZPass but allows carpoolers to switch between HOV and toll-paying modes. The switchable E-ZPass Flex lets the Express Lanes operator know which vehicles are HOV-3+ so that they aren’t charged a toll.
Drivers of Hybrid Vehicles with Clean Fuel Plates:
When the I-95 Express Lanes open, hybrid vehicles with clean fuel plates issued before July 1, 2006 must pay a toll or have three people in the car to use the Lanes. The rules affecting hybrids are as follows:
- Hybrid drivers can ride toll-free on the I-95 Express Lanes with three people in the vehicle and an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode; or,
- They can pay the toll with an E-ZPass if traveling with fewer than three people in the vehicle.
- Hybrid vehicles with clean fuel plates issued before July 1, 2006 will continue to be allowed to use the HOV lanes without three people in the vehicle on the I-395 HOV lanes.
For more information about the transition area just north of Edsall Road on I-395, please visit here.
Motorcycles do not need an E-ZPass.
Unlike the existing HOV lanes, the rules of the road for the new I-95 Express Lanes will be in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including weekends.
Vehicles may not tow trailers on the I-95 Express Lanes. HOV-3+ vehicles with an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode, motorcycles and transit will have toll-free access to the Express Lanes at all times; drivers with fewer than three occupants can choose to pay a toll with E-ZPass to use the lanes on occasions when they need to get somewhere on time.
“We have seen a great success in the website so far,” said Branco Vlacich, VDOT’s maintenance engineer for northern Virginia, at today’s annual snow briefing. “Even in last year’s heavy snows we saw a drastic drop in customer service calls, and we think that is because drivers and residents can get instant answers to their questions with real-time visuals of road conditions and specific progress of our snow crews.”
VDOT is responsible for 17,737 lane miles in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties (Arlington County maintains its own secondary roads). About half of those miles are highways, and half are neighborhood streets. In northern Virginia, VDOT has one snow removal program for interstates and high-volume roads such as routes 1, 7, 15, 28, 50, and the Fairfax County Parkway, and another program for subdivisions. During winter weather, crews work on both concurrently.
In her remarks from the October 21st BOCS meeting, Supervisor Caddigan speaks on the funeral of Prince William County Police Detective William Colindres, and the “Heroes of the Arc” 50th Anniversary celebration at the Hylton Performing Arts center, including a brief history of this remarkable organization.