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Project Profile: Capital Beltway High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes (I-495)

 Capital Beltway High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes (I-495)

photo credit: Transurban


Fairfax County, Virginia

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)

Program Areas

Project FinanceTolling and PricingTIFIA


High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Road


The Capital Beltway High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes project (officially the 495 Express Lanes) is a public-private partnership between VDOT and Capital Beltway Express, LLC (a joint venture of Fluor and Transurban) that opened in November 2012. The project limits are 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

$2.068 billion

Funding Sources

Private Activity Bonds - $589 million

TIFIA Loan - $589 million

Commonwealth of Virginia grant - $409 million

VDOT change-order funding - $86 million

Interest income - $47 million

Private Equity - $348 million

Project Delivery / Contract Method

Design-build-finance-operate-maintain Toll Concession (75 years)

Private Partner

Capital Beltway Express, LLC - Joint venture between Fluor and Transurban

Project Advisors / Consultants

Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation



  • TIFIA Legal Advisor - Nixon Peabody, Michael Vaccari and Virginia Wong
  • TIFIA Financial Advisor - Infrastructure Management Group - Sasha Page

Bondholders, USDOT TIFIA

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.

TIFIA Credit Assistance

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 / Financial Performance

Financial close and TIFIA credit agreement signed on December 20, 2007; Senior Bonds marketed in June 2008.

TIFIA interest payments are expected to begin in 2017. Loan repayments are scheduled to begin in 2032 and conclude in 2047. The TIFIA loan is structured with five years of capitalized interest during construction followed by five years of partially capitalized interest during ramp-up; then current interest only for 15 years followed by 15 years of interest plus principal.

Due to lower than expected toll revenues during the first two years of operations, Capital Beltway Express and its lenders restructured the project's debt in May 2014 by contributing an additional $280 million in private equity and $150 million in existing project reserves to reduce the PAB debt - which must be repaid before the TIFIA loan - by 60 percent.

  • Dynamic tolling based on real-time traffic conditions
  • First HOT lane implemented in the state of Virginia
  • First time a Private Activity Bond was used for HOT lanes in the U.S. and the first time combined with TIFIA financing
Related Links / Articles

495 Express Lanes Website

Virginia Public-Private Partnership Act of 1995


Larry O. Cloyed, PMP
Senior Program Manager
Virginia Department of Transportation
Virginia Megaprojects Office
Tel: (571) 483-2584

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