Information on the New I-95 Express Lanes

Dear neighbors,

I wanted to pass along some information regarding the opening of the new I-95 Express Lanes.

The new Express Lanes are expected to open in December! I’m referring to the new lanes that are being built on the I-95/395 HOV lanes from Edsall Road in Fairfax County to Route 610 in Stafford County. These Express Lanes will hopefully help with the traffic on this 29 mile stretch of I-95! In order to access these new lanes, you will need an EZ Pass. So if you don’t already have one, you can order one online at www.ezpassva.com, or visit any of their customer service locations.

Why are we building a toll road?  Well, if you’ve ever traveled on I-95, you know the outrageous amount of congestion that can occur. To help solve this problem, we’ve had to implement a project that costs over $1.5 Billion.

Since the state does not have the money to fund a $1.5 Billion project, we had to look to private investments. [Note: If the money was raised through a tax increase, the cost would have been the equivalent of a 7-8-cent/gallon-tax increase in Northern Virginia.  Therefore, the General Assembly decided to make them toll lanes, while still allowing HOV users to ride on it for free.] Let me reiterate, you will not have to pay to ride on any of the lanes used today. The toll only applies to the non-HOV use of the new lanes.

Here is brief summary of the imminent rules and changes:

All drivers are required to have an E-Z pass or E-ZPass Flex to use the NEW Express Lanes.

All carpoolers must have an E-ZPass Flex.

  • The E-ZPass Flex works similarly to the standard E-Z pass but enables carpoolers to switch between the HOV and toll-paying modes on the device. The two settings allow for the Express Lane operator to know which vehicles should be charged.
  • By setting their E-ZPass Flex to HOV mode, carpools with three or more people can travel the Express Lanes toll-free.

Hybrid vehicles with clean fuel plates issued before July 1, 2006 are required to pay a toll or have a minimum of three people in the car to use the lanes.

  • Hybrid drivers can avoid toll charges by setting their E-ZPass Flex to HOV mode and having at least 3 people in the vehicle.
  • Hybrid vehicles with clean fuel plates issued before July 1, 2006 will still be allowed to use the I-395 HOV lanes (lanes from Springfield to DC) without having the minimum of three people in the vehicle.

Motorcyclists are not required to have an E-ZPass and will have toll-free access to the Lanes at all times.

Other Notable Changes:

  • Vehicles will not be permitted to tow trailers on the Express Lanes.
  • The new I-95 Express Lanes will not have set times like current HOV lanes. The Lanes will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

More Information regarding the I-95 Express Lanes can be found on the following link: http://95expresslanes.com/.

If you have any questions or need any assistance obtaining an EZ Pass, feel free to contact me at (703) 451-3555 or DelDAlbo@house.virginia.gov.

Best Regards,

Dave Albo

 

2014-2015 VDOT Winter Briefing

Earlier this week, VDOT hosted a seminar on snow removal in Virginia. Here are some of the highlights:

VDOT (NOVA) 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.

The budget for last year’s winter was $63 million, but $152 million was spent. This year’s budget is $52 million. This comes out of the overall statewide maintenance budget of approximately $1.5 billion.

Once again, you can track your snowplow online! Once is snows over 2 inches, you can get on vdotplows.org to monitor the status of plowing. All you need to do is enter your address and a color-coded snow map pops up and shows whether plowing is underway, completed or not yet started in your neighborhood.

This year there are more than 4,000 trucks and plows available. All are equipped with automatic vehicle locator (AVL) equipment (so you can track your snow plow).

VDOT’s Winter Resources

Delegate Albo Receives High Ranking from Virginia FREE

Yesterday, Virginia FREE released its 2014 General Assembly Evaluations. Delegate Albo received a rating of 91.9 percent and tied for fifth amongst his colleagues in the House of Delegates. Virginia FREE was founded in 1988 with the objective of providing the business community with non-partisan information on the voting records of all General Assembly legislators. The organization’s evaluation process consists of three components: the selection of business-related legislation to be scored, grading the pro-business performance of each legislator, and calculating a final annual grade. If you would like to view the 2014 House Evaluations, click here.

Virginia House of Delegates Passes “Keep Your Plan” Legislation

Despite multiple promises from President Obama, as many as 250,000 Virginians and millions of Americans had health care plans cancelled under the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare).

To help with this issue, the House of Delegates passed legislation on Monday to allow insurance companies to renew in 2015 health insurance plans that were cancelled under the ACA.

House Bill 5011 “authorizes health carriers to offer to renew any health benefit plan that would otherwise be required to be canceled, discontinued, or terminated because it does not meet the requirements of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

The House of Delegates passed similar legislation, HB 1147, earlier in 2014. Unfortunately, the first bill was killed by the Senate. Unfortunately because of the delay, some insurance companies may not reauthorize plans that were cancelled under Obamacare. However, I believe strongly they should have the opportunity to do so, and hope they make those plans available to customers.

For more information on House Bill 5011, please click here.

EZ Passes and the 95 Express Lanes

If you’ve driven on I-95 lately, you’ve likely seen construction crews working to convert the existing HOV system to an Express Lanes system.

The 95 Express Lanes – expected to open in December – are 29 miles of high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes spanning from Edsall Road in Fairfax County to Garrisonville Road in Stafford County.  The lanes will bring many benefits to carpoolers, but will also mean changes to your current 95 travel.  Here’s what carpoolers need to know:

  • You’ll need an E-ZPass Flex:  To travel toll-free on the 95 Express Lanes, you need three or more people in your vehicle and an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode
  • E-ZPass Flex is available online and at the following locations:
    • AAA Mid-Atlantic locations
    • Select DMV, Giant and Wegmans locations in Northern Virginia
    • E-ZPass Customer Service Centers
    • By calling E-ZPass at 877-762-7824
  • Already have an E-ZPass?  You can swap it for an E-ZPass Flex.  Just follow the instructions at www.ezpassva.com/EZPages/Get-Flex.aspx

Get ready to use the lanes today and visit 95ExpressLanes.com for more information.                                                                                                      

Veteran’s Day

vETS DAY 2014

I would like to say thank you to all of our service men and women, past and present. We appreciate the sacrifices that both you and your families make every day.

Yesterday, I attended the Veteran’s Day ceremony at my son’s elementary school. Many years ago I initiated a program that each school would teach something about Veterans’ contributions to our country each Veteran’s Day. I am pleased that our schools are doing just that. After the elementary school event, I went to the American Legion/VFW Ceremony. I have not missed one in 20 years!

Quick Reminder about Veterans Day

Some VA state agencies will be closed. For instance, all DMV offices are closed on Tuesday, November 11, in observance of the Veterans Day holiday. But you can visit DMV’s Online Services to access many available transactions.

My office will be open! Please give us a call if we can help you with anything (703) 451-3555.

Vote Today!

Remember the polls are open until 7:00 PM. Visit vote.gop.com to find your polling location.

I had a great time at the Newington Forest polls this morning with my new friend, Ms. Yanez!

Anne Yanez Supporter at Newington Forest Poll

Spotlight on Albo Constituent: Kurron Ramsey

kurron school
Earlier this year, I congratulated Mount Vernon High School senior,Kurron Ramsey, on receiving a scholarship to Alabama State University to play football.
As an update, Kurron is excelling in  school,  playing on the football team, and giving back to the community.  Here is Kurron, along with another teammate, reading to students at a local elementary school in Montgomery, Alabama.
Keep up the good work Kurron!

My son, Ben, and some of his 3rd grade classmates from Sangster Elementary take a visit to Mount Vernon

Ben3rdGradeMtVernonFieldTrip