I-495 Express Lanes Northern Extension (495 NEXT) Project Update

Issue 15 | February 9, 2024

In This Issue...

  • 495 NEXT Construction Update
  • Pile Driving Activities Continue in Early 2024
  • Time-Lapse Video – Check Out Our Progress
  • Winter 2024 Construction Photos
  • Under the Hard Hat Profile
  • Applications Invited for Transurban's 495 NEXT Community Grants

495 NEXT Construction Update

As we approach our third year of construction on the 495 NEXT project, the future express lanes, bridge improvements and other project elements are progressing and beginning to visibly take shape. Since kicking off construction in March 2022, crews have focused on setting up safe work areas, clearing activities, building and improving bridges, constructing new lanes outside of the current I-495 alignment and removing old noise walls that are being replaced by new, upgraded walls.

Construction activities throughout the 2.5-mile 495 NEXT corridor will continue to ramp up in 2024, as crews work to open the new express lanes extension by late 2025 and complete the overall project in 2026. Work will continue throughout the corridor, with crews focused on shifting I-495 traffic to the new outer lanes by the end of the year. Once this shift occurs, crews will begin building the new express lanes in the center of I-495.

As construction moves forward in the project corridor, VDOT and its project partners remain committed to keeping traffic moving safely and as efficiently as possible, while minimizing impacts to surrounding neighborhoods.

Pile Driving Activities Continue in Early 2024

The wider new bridges over the Beltway are being built on foundations secured with steel piles driven into the ground. Periodically throughout early 2024, neighbors can expect to hear pile driving for the bridges at Old Dominion Drive, Georgetown Pike and Live Oak Drive. 

To minimize impacts to surrounding neighborhoods, pile driving is done during daytime hours to the extent possible. To keep neighbors informed in advance of this work, which can be noisy, the project team delivers informational flyers to adjacent neighborhoods, emails information to 495 NEXT subscribers and posts information on 495NEXT.org and social media channels.

Workers adjust rigging on a pile for the future ramp from eastbound Dulles Toll Road to northbound I-495 (January 2024).

Time-Lapse Video: Check Out Our Progress!

Opening the New Ramp from Southbound I-495 to Georgetown Pike

In late 2023, crews built a new ramp from I-495 South to Georgetown Pike to accommodate the future 495 Express Lanes extension. Click the video below to watch this construction operation. 

Winter 2024 Construction Photos

An in-progress mechanically stabilized embankment (MSE) retaining wall along westbound Dulles Access Road.

Crews work on another MSE retaining wall along northbound Georgetown Pike.

Crews work on constructing the footing for a bridge abutment for the future Georgetown Pike bridge over I-495.

Crews pour concrete while working on the abutment for the future Live Oak Drive bridge over I-495.

Under the Hard Hat Profile

Lane Construction Project Safety Manager Brandon Miles

A strong commitment to safety is fundamental to the cultures of VDOT and its 495 NEXT project partners, Transurban and Lane Construction. 


Leading Lane’s efforts is Project Safety Manager Brandon Miles, who has been with the project since mid-2022. Miles’ overall mission is to make sure that construction activities are performed in a manner that ensures the safety of both workers and the public. His responsibilities include:

  • Leading safety education and training for all new workers or any personnel coming to the construction site.
  • Ensuring proper pre-planning for all activities and tasks for employees and subcontractors.
  • Leading weekly safety meetings for all field workers.
  • Assessing working conditions and identifying safety-related issues and risks on project.
  • Ensuring all crews have proper working gear and personal protective equipment (e.g., hard hats, vests, steel-toed boots, eye protection, etc.) to perform jobs safely and efficiently.
  • Leading incident prevention efforts to meet or exceed company and industry safety goals, while continuously striving to reduce incident rates.

Early morning briefings are held to ensure workers understand how to perform their jobs with the highest standard of safety in the always-changing project environment (November 2023).

“My job boils down to making sure that every worker goes home safely at the end of their shift,” Miles said. “Construction work exposes people to all kinds of potential hazards and keeping everyone safe requires constant vigilance. We never take safety for granted.”

Since the beginning of the project, Lane has worked over 411,000 work hours thus far with zero recordable injuries and at-fault work zone incidents. This safety record is well below the construction industry average for the scope of work and complexity of a project such as 495 NEXT.


Miles hails from Shinnston, a small town in West Virginia, and graduated from nearby Fairmont State University in 2016. He has been certified as a Graduate Safety Practitioner and a Certified Safety Professional by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, the gold standard in safety certification. 

Applications Invited for Transurban's 495 NEXT Community Grant Program

Groups dedicated to improving communities along the 495 NEXT corridor are invited to submit applications for Transurban's 495 NEXT Community Grant program. 

Transurban, the developer and operator of the 495, 95 and 395 Express Lanes, is seeking opportunities to respond to the needs of local organizations and direct impact neighborhoods located within the 495 NEXT Express Lanes corridor in the following categories:

  • Environment – projects that enhance or protect the environment.
  • Community – projects that support health, economic development or well-being.
  • Safety – projects that support safety initiatives including road, child, education.

The next deadline to apply for a community grant is March 31, 2024. 

Click here to learn more about Transurban’s Express Lanes Community Grant programs and how to apply.

Project Background

The I-495 Express Lanes Northern Extension (495 NEXT) project is extending the existing 495 Express Lanes north by two-and-a-half miles from the Dulles Corridor interchange to the George Washington Memorial Parkway interchange in the vicinity of the American Legion Bridge. The project is providing new and improved connections at the Dulles Corridor and George Washington Memorial Parkway. 

Other project benefits include four miles of new bicycle and pedestrian connections including a shared-use path parallel to I-495 from Lewinsville Road to near Live Oak Drive, replacement or rehabilitation of seven bridges with pedestrian accommodations, replacement of nine existing noise walls and construction of a new noise wall along Live Oak Drive in the vicinity of the George Washington Memorial Parkway interchange, environmental improvements introducing stormwater management facilities and funding restoration of the stream at Scott's Run, and dedicated funding to support transit improvements in the corridor including new bus service over the American Legion Bridge.

495 NEXT is a public-private partnership project between the Commonwealth of Virginia and Transurban, operator of the existing 495 Express Lanes. Lane Construction is the design-build contractor for the project. The new extended lanes are scheduled to open in 2025. 

Learn More About the Project

Check out www.495NEXT.org for additional information.

Sign up here to receive project email updates.

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Email: [email protected]

Call: Construction Inquiry Line, 703-592-6430

Virginia Department of Transportation, Michelle Holland, 703-586-0487

Transurban, Amanda Allen, 571-249-8784

Lane Construction, John Undeland, 703-785-3461

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