(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) One person was killed this morning in a multi-vehicle crash on the Capital Beltway (I-495) in Tysons.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department had reported that one person had sustained injuries considered life-threatening, but the fatality wasn’t confirmed until just after 10 a.m. by the Virginia State Police.
VSP said it responded to the crash in the northbound lanes of I-495 near the exit for Route 267 at 6:52 a.m.
According to VSP, the driver of a 2019 Ford F-150 pickup — identified as Robert A. Blakely, 71, from D.C. — was “ejected from his vehicle” and died at the scene. A passenger in another vehicle received treatment for minor injuries.
The crash shut down the northbound Express Lanes and multiple general lanes on I-495 at the Dulles Access Road for hours during this morning’s rush hour, prompting vehicles in the toll lanes to be diverted at Route 7.
By 9 a.m., traffic backups extended approximately 9.8 miles to the end of the Express Lanes in North Springfield, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s traffic cameras.
This is the second major crash on the Beltway in as many days. During yesterday’s evening rush hour, a man died after being struck by an SUV near the Braddock Road exit. He had gotten out of the tractor-trailer he was driving following a collision with a sedan.
Units on scene of a multi-vehicle crash on I495 NB at Dulles Access Rd in Mclean area. One life-threatening injury. NB Express Lanes and multiple lanes of I495 NB closed for unknown duration. Expect delays. Seek alternate route. View Map: https://t.co/ooNN1smrhc #FCFRD #traffic pic.twitter.com/AQysAWs8dn
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) December 1, 2022
Update: delays now extend past Little River Turnpike, with debris cleanup in progress. Reconstruction will occur at a later time. Expect general lanes to begin opening soon, followed by express lanes. #VATraffic #DMVTraffic https://t.co/im0z6oJxRN
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) December 1, 2022
Drivers on the Dulles Toll Road can expect to pay higher tolls beginning next year.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s Board of Directors voted yesterday morning to increase fees for users of the toll road — bringing tolls to $6 for the average driver.
The increase is expected to cover highway operations and maintenance costs, along with a dedicated set-aside for phase two of the Silver Line, which opened Tuesday (Nov. 15). The increase does not directly fund cost overruns associated with the project and has long been anticipated as part of a long-term funding plan.
At the main line plaza, tolls will rise from $3.25 to $4 for two-axle vehicles, $6.50 to $8 for three-axle vehicles, $7.75 to $9.25 for four-axle vehicles, and $9 to $10.50 for five-axle vehicles.
At the ramps, tolls will increase from $1.25 to $2 for two-axle vehicles, $3 to $4 for three-axle vehicles, $3.50 to $4.50 for four-axle vehicles, and $4 to $5 for five-axle vehicles.
The next toll increases is slated for 2028, according to MWAA’s board. “Modest” toll rate hikes are generally expected every five years, MWAA wrote in a statement.
MWAA also plans to collect a $1.60 administrative fee to process tolls for drivers who do not pay with the EZPass. The move comes as the toll road makes a shift to all electronic collections next year.
MWAA plans to eliminate toll boots at existing toll lanes in the coming months.
“Eliminating toll booths is expected to speed traffic flow and benefit the environment by reducing emissions that would have been produced by vehicles waiting in toll-booth lines,” MWAA wrote in a statement.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, the man fired a handgun at Hutchinson Elementary School, where “a community event” was taking place.
“A man wearing a black jacket and blue jeans was reported to have discharged a handgun in the air and appeared to be intoxicated,” the FCPD said.
When police arrived at the scene shortly after 4 p.m., the man ran into the woods towards the Dulles Toll Road and was hit by a car. The man’s injuries are no longer life threatening, police said.
The driver of the 2015 Lexus that hit the man stayed on the scene of the incident. Police do not believe alcohol was a factor for the driver, but it does appear to be a factor for the man.
So far, police have obtained warrants for felony reckless discharge of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school and possessing a firearm on school grounds. The man’s name and mugshot will be released once warrants are served, the police department said.
The incident prompted the closure of the westbound lanes of the toll road. The FCPD’s canine unit found a handgun “in the wooded area along the path” where the man fled from police.
An administrative investigation is also underway by the FCPD’s internal affairs bureau.
Starting next week, all drivers traveling north on the Capital Beltway through Tysons will share the same exit to get to the westbound Dulles Toll Road.
The existing Exit 45 will be closed around Wednesday, Nov. 16, so construction can begin on a new bridge for the Beltway (I-495) over the toll road ramps, the Virginia Department of Transportation announced Thursday (Nov. 3).
Both general-purpose and express traffic looking to get onto the toll road’s westbound lanes will instead be directed onto a 495 Express Lanes ramp, located about one-third of a mile south of the old exit.
“To facilitate this new travel pattern, I-495 will be reduced from four to three lanes for a stretch of approximately one-half mile near the I-495 and Dulles Corridor interchange,” VDOT said. “…Due to this change, drivers traveling on southbound Route 123 will not be able to access westbound Dulles Toll Road from northbound I-495.”
The new configuration will be in place through early 2025, as work continues on the 495 Express Lanes Northern Extension (495 NEXT) project, which is extending the lanes 2.5 miles from Tysons to the George Washington Memorial Parkway interchange in McLean.
The redesigned Dulles Toll Road interchange will include two new ramps from I-495 North, one going east and one going west. Three stormwater ponds are also being constructed inside the ramp from the westbound toll road to the Beltway.
Active construction began on 495 NEXT in late May and is expected to continue into 2026.
A man allegedly fired gunshots outside Hutchinson Elementary School near Herndon before fleeing police and getting into a crash on the Dulles Toll Road.
Fairfax County police officers were called to the school for a report of shots being fired into the air around 4:09 p.m. today, according to Fairfax County Police Department Lt. Dan Spital.
When officers arrived at the school, they saw a group of men behind the school, one of whom ran through a wooded area — presumably the adjacent Hutchinson Park — and onto the Dulles Toll Road, police said.
“Once that man got onto the Dulles Toll Road, he was struck by a vehicle,” Spital said in a brief update around 6:30 p.m. “That vehicle remained on scene, and the patient was listed in critical condition. He was ground-transported to a local hospital, where he’s being treated for injuries that are still considered life-threatening.”
K9 officers found a firearm in the woods on the path where the foot chase took place, according to police.
FCPD Crash Reconstruction Unit detectives remain on the Dulles Toll Road, as the investigation continues.
Watch as Lieutenant Dan Spital provides an update to the community about this afternoon’s shooting at Hutchison ES. Follow our blog, https://t.co/lhGv3NDvYs, for any available updates. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/grt134nWOa
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) November 6, 2022
A plan to increase tolls on the Dulles Toll Road and eliminate the option to pay by cash is barreling towards approval next month.
At a meeting late last week, a board committee unanimously approved both proposals. Tolls would generally rise from $3.25 to $4 at the main line plaza and from $1.50 to $2 on ramps. Similar increases are proposed for vehicles with three or more axles.
The change would go into effect after a public comment period closed earlier this year.
The next toll increase is expected in 2028 while the last toll increase happened in 2019.
Staff noted that so me residents opposed the use of tolls for additional costs associated with the Silver Line and the Dulles Metrorail Project.
“While many of the comments oppose the current allocation of responsibility for funding construction of the Dulles Metrorail Project, that allocation reflects policy decisions and agreements made at the federal, state and regional level over many years,” staff wrote in a statement.
The board will also consider collecting an administrative fee for vehicles that choose the pay-by-plate payment option. The fee — $1.60 per transaction– is not intended to generate any revenue.
The move comes after MWAA transitions from cash payments and moves towards payment via E-ZPass and mobile applications. Residents will have 30 days to pay the toll.
If approved, both proposals would go into effect on Jan. 1.
Two people died in a moped crash on the Dulles Toll Road near the exit to Trap Road last night (Wednesday).
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police responded to a report of a single-vehicle crash with multiple injuries in the toll road’s westbound lanes at 9:40 p.m., MWAA said in a statement to FFXnow.
The arriving officers found a moped and one person who was dead in the roadway. A second person was transported to a hospital with critical injuries and later died, according to MWAA.
Police have identified the man found dead at the scene as 23-year-old Nyjell Dae Quan Lewis from D.C. The person who died at the hospital was 20-year-old Kia Renee Hobbs from Suitland, Maryland, according to the authority, which says she is “presumed to be a passenger on the moped.”
“The Dulles Toll Road was closed during the crash reconstruction,” MWAA said. “The case is still under investigation, and no charges have been filed. With the investigation ongoing, we can’t answer any further questions at this time.”
Though MWAA has characterized the incident as a single-vehicle crash, scanner watchers told FFXnow that a car was reportedly involved. An MWAA spokesperson said they “can’t confirm additional details.”
— Alan Henney (@alanhenney) October 13, 2022
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department also responded to the crash but deferred to MWAA police when asked for information.
The Dulles Toll Road crash was one of two fatal incidents reported in Fairfax County yesterday.
At 11:24 a.m., Fairfax County police and fire personnel were dispatched to the Route 50/Sully Road interchange in Chantilly after a car drove into a light pole. The driver — identified as Arjen Weiss, 62, of Chantilly — was transported to Reston Hospital, where he died.
— ʙʀᴀᴅ ꜰʀᴇɪᴛᴀꜱ (@Chopper4Brad) October 12, 2022
“Detectives from our Crash Reconstruction Unit determined Weiss was driving westbound on Lee Jackson Memorial Highway on the ramp to northbound Sully Road,” the Fairfax County Police Department said. “His vehicle left the roadway for an unknown reason and struck a light pole. Detectives believe alcohol and speed were not factors in the crash.”
(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) A Reston man was killed in a crash on the Dulles Toll Road Wednesday night (Aug. 24), the second reported pedestrian fatality on the highway in as many months.
Chris Baidoe, 26, was hit by a vehicle around 8 p.m. in the toll road’s westbound lanes near the exit to Fairfax County Parkway in Reston, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said in a statement.
Baidoe was transported to a hospital, where he died. MWAA said he had “no fixed address,” but a family member confirmed to FFXnow that he lived in Reston.
The authority said the crash involved a non-commercial vehicle, but it couldn’t yet confirm the make or model.
“No other people were injured,” MWAA said. “The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene, and no charges have been filed at this point in the investigation.”
The crash was first reported by The Washington Post.
MWAA Police are investigating the incident, which occurred just a mile away from a July 5 crash on the westbound Dulles Toll Road near the Reston Parkway interchange.
In that case, no identity was initially given for the pedestrian, who was struck around 9:20 p.m. and died in a hospital that night.
When FFXnow followed up on July 29, MWAA identified the victim as 29-year-old Delante Ross, who they said had no fixed address. A spokesperson confirmed that the driver had not been charged but said no other information could be released at that point, including what kind of vehicle was involved.
A different member of MWAA’s media relations team told FFXnow yesterday that they were “checking for updates on the July 5 Toll Road incident investigation,” but no new information was available as of publication time.
Photo via Google Maps
Updated at 7 p.m. — Hunter Mill Road has fully reopened after this afternoon’s crash, per Fairfax Alerts.
Earlier: Northbound Hunter Mill Road has been closed at the Dulles Toll Road in the Reston/Wolf Trap area after two vehicles collided this afternoon (Wednesday).
A driver told FFXnow shortly after 3 p.m. that there had been an “accident” on the eastbound ramp to the toll road, and they saw fire trucks and ambulances in the area.
The Fairfax County Police Department confirmed that it has officers on the scene of a two-vehicle crash “involving a dump truck that flipped over” near Hunter Mill the toll road, also known as Route 267.
“No injuries were reported,” the FCPD said. “…Drivers are asked to use an alternative route as they work to clear the road.”
As of 4:09 p.m., all northbound lanes remain closed, with congestion building around the toll road, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s traffic information map.
Police said they currently don’t have an estimate for how long the closure will last.
(Updated at 10:40 a.m. on 8/8/2022) Planning for a new bridge connection between Fairfax and Loudoun counties over the Dulles Toll Road has officially begun.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously authorized a project agreement with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority on Tuesday (Aug. 2) for the $196 million project. The vote was conducted with no discussion.
Located at the intersection of Rock Hill Road and Davis Drive, the bridge would connect Sunrise Valley Drive over the toll road to Innovation Avenue in Loudoun County.
A new four-lane road with bicycle lanes and a sidewalk on both sides is anticipated in an effort to provide direct connections with the Innovation Center Metro Station area.
“The project will provide additional capacity across the Dulles Corridor, reduce congestion and delay on Route 28 and Centreville Road, and improve accessibility and mobility to and within the area surrounding the Innovation Center Metrorail Station,” county staff said in a memo.
Currently, the Virginia Department of Transportation is competing a feasibility study, which is expected to wrap up in early fall.
The study will include information on the conceptual design for the preferred design, cross section features, the bridge’s type, size, and exact location, as well as cost estimates and timeline.
It’s too early to know when the project will officially begin construction, but that is likely years down the line.
Over the next few years, staff will identify ways to fund the project through various pools of money. For now, the project is partially funded with NVTA’s regional funds.
Tuesday’s vote simply secures a project agreement between the NVTA and the county by allocating $20.6 million for the project.