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VDOT Planning to Permanently Close HOV-to-Main-Lanes Ramp Along I-395

VDOT is permanently closing a ramp that allowed drivers heading southbound in the HOV lanes of I-395 to merge into the main southbound lanes near the Pentagon.

The closure, which is expected to happen later this week, will mean that drivers who take the southbound HOV lanes of the 14th Street Bridge from D.C., but who want to get into to the main lanes in Arlington, will need to take the earlier exit, closer to the bridge.

The closure is part of the 395 Express Lanes project.

More details from a VDOT press release:

The slip-ramp connecting the HOV lanes to the regular (or general purpose) lanes on I-395 South near the Pentagon will close permanently starting on or about June 1, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Drivers wanting to access the southbound general purpose lanes from the southbound HOV lanes on this stretch of I-395 will need to use the slip-ramp located north of the Pentagon, near Boundary Channel Drive after crossing the 14th Street Bridge from D.C. into Virginia. Motorists traveling to the Pentagon or Crystal City — or non-HOV drivers who missed the exit near Boundary Channel — must take the exit at Eads Street. Drivers heading to the I-395 general purpose lanes should then follow signs to Army/Navy Drive and Hayes Street.

Tips for Motorists:

In the mornings:

  • Southbound motorists traveling on the I-395 HOV lanes from Washington, D.C. should move into the general purpose lanes immediately after crossing the 14th Street Bridge at the ramp near Boundary Channel Drive. Don’t wait to switch lanes until after you pass the Pentagon, as this slip-ramp will be closed.

In the afternoons:

  • For HOV motorists traveling southbound from D.C., nothing changes.
  • For non-HOV drivers, exit the HOV lanes after crossing the 14th Street Bridge at the ramp near Boundary Channel Drive.
  • Anyone heading to the Pentagon or Crystal City – or non-HOV drivers who missed the exit near Boundary Channel – should take the exit at Eads Street. Follow signs to Army/Navy Drive and Hayes Street to return to the I-395 South general purpose lanes.

Getting to I-395 South from the Pentagon:

  • Non-HOV drivers should take North Rotary Road to South Washington Boulevard to the I-395 southbound general purpose lanes.
  • HOV drivers should take the Eads Street ramp near the Pentagon to get directly onto the I-395 HOV lanes.

To help plan, drivers can find maps, videos and other educational information at

This planned ramp closure is part of the new I-395 Express Lanes configuration, which will provide eight miles of faster, safer and seamless travel from the I-95 Express Lanes north to the D.C. line, as well as direct connections to the Pentagon and Crystal City. The new express lanes are scheduled to open in late October 2019. Information on how Express Lanes work and how to get an E-ZPass can be found at

The 395 Express Lanes are a public-private partnership between VDOT and Transurban. See more details on the project and related lane closures.

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