Virginia breaks ground on Express Lanes expansion on I-395

(AP) -- Virginia is breaking ground on a $500 million expansion of its Express Lanes network that allows toll-paying solo drivers to use lanes normally reserved for carpoolers.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe presided over ceremonies Wednesday to mark the expansion of Express Lanes on I-395 in Arlington County.

The project covers an eight-mile stretch that will continue the Express Lanes all the way to the D.C. border.

Virginia always wanted the lanes to extend up to the District of Columbia, but Arlington County officials filed a lawsuit to block that particular segment. In 2015, Arlington acquiesced after the project was tweaked to provide some mass-transit benefits.

The project will transform two HOV lanes into three Express Lanes subject to a variable toll.

The work is expected to conclude in 2019.

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