495 express lanes open month earlier than scheduled

The 495 express lanes opened a month earlier than scheduled and brought in thousands of dollars in revenue.

The express lanes opened on Nov. 17. Toll revenue during that time grew from a daily average of $12,212 to an average of $24,317 during the week before Christmas.

Traffic during that time increased 57 percent, from about 15,000 daily trips to a little under 24,000.

The new lanes require a toll to use and only be accessible at certain points that include the beginning and end, plus I-66, I-95, and several new exits being built just for the toll lanes along I-495.

The minimum toll price is $1.65 and the maximum is $3.60. High occupancy users – three or more – made up about 7 percent of users.