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Virginia Department of Transportation

High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes are tolled lanes that operate alongside existing highway lanes to provide users with a faster and more reliable travel option. This $1.4 billion project built fourteen miles of new HOT lanes (two in each direction) on I-495 between the Springfield Interchange and just north of the Dulles Toll Road. These HOT lanes allow the Beltway to offer HOV-3 connections with I-95/395, I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road for the first time.  Vehicles carrying two people can either travel for free in the regular lanes or pay a toll to ride in the HOT lanes. In addition to providing new travel choices, this project made a significant contribution to the Beltway’s 45-year-old infrastructure, replacing more than 50 aging bridges and overpasses, upgrading 10 interchanges and improving new bike and pedestrian access.

The Robert B. Balter Company provided extensive geotechnical drilling support for the HOT Lanes project in Northern Virginia. Balter used two truck-mounted drill rigs equipped with hollow stem augers and mud rotary capabilities. Subsurface borings  included simple pavement cores and deep borings (up to 100'). Standard soil and rock sampling were also performed throughout.

In addition to drilling services, Balter also provided experienced senior geologists for the purpose of drill rig inspection and data collection. The geologists used provided the client with years of experience and knowledge that allowed for the client to divert their attention to other pertinent project details.

This project was extremely challenging  due to its location on I-95 in a corridor that exhibits some of the worst traffic in the D.C./Baltimore area. In conjunction with traffic control sub-contractors Balter succeeded in collection of subsurface data in the most challenging locations. Because of the local traffic, work hours, both day and night, have been extremely limited; however, Balter's team of high quality and experienced drillers rose to the challenge to keep the project on schedule and exceeded the client's expectations.

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