Interstate 66 from Interstate 495/Capital Beltway to U.S. Route 29 in Rosslyn, as well as the Dulles Toll Road
The first component of this program will convert I-66 inside the Beltway to an Express Lanes facility with dynamic tolling during peak periods only. Construction began in summer 2016, and the toll lanes are expected to open in December 2017.
VDOT has created a new website - 66ExpressLanes.org - to educate travelers about how tolling will work, the necessity of getting an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex, and other changes coming to the highway.
About the Project
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) are working on a multimodal project to transform I-66 Inside the Beltway in order to move more people, enhance connectivity in the corridor and provide new travel choices. This multimodal project is based on recommendations from the 2012 Final Report of the I-66 Multimodal Study inside the Beltway.
In December 2014, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne sent a letter to Arlington and Fairfax Counties and the City of Falls Church outlining VDOT’s intent to move forward with the I-66 Multimodal Improvement Project Inside the Beltway. The proposed project includes:
- Conversion of I-66 inside the Beltway to an Express Lanes facility with dynamic tolling during peak periods only. The lanes would be free for HOV and buses.
- An initial series of multimodal improvements would be prioritized for implementation and may include enhanced bus service, Integrated Corridor Management and the addition and enhancement of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs.
In October 2015, the County Board received an update on the project, along with analysis completed by County staff:
More information is available on VDOT’s Transform 66 website.
Arlington County’s position on the project
In November 2015 the County Board adopted a resolution endorsing, in concept, the implementation of weekday, peak-period, peak-direction, dynamic tolling on I-66 inside the Beltway. The Board also endorsed, in concept, the Memorandum of Agreement between the Commonwealth and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission to use toll revenues to fund multimodal improvements around I-66 inside the Beltway.
The County Board released a statement in February 2016 in response to the agreement to immediately widen a section of eastbound I-66 between the Dulles Connector and Fairfax Drive.
In February 2016 Governor McAuliffe and members from the Virginia General Assembly announced a bipartisan agreement to reduce congestion on I-66 inside the Beltway by widening a four-mile eastbound stretch from the Dulles Connector Road to Fairfax Drive in Ballston, improving transit, and adding new options for single drivers.
VDOT released the Environmental Assessment for the eastbound widening of I-66 in November 2016.
In January 2017, the County Board held a work session on the Environmental Assessment for the I-66 widening. At its Jan. 28 meeting, the Board adopted a Resolution outlining its position on the various elements of the project and its expectations for continued coordination from VDOT with staff and the community.
W&OD Trail bridge
As part of the eastbound widening, and to solve transportation operations at the intersection of Fairfax Drive/Washington Boulevard and Lee Highway, VDOT will construct a bridge crossing for the W&OD Trail over Lee Highway.
VDOT held a public workshop on April 5, 2017, to gather public input on certain bridge design elements. VDOT continues to work with County staff and the community to refine the bridge design in a way that the County requested in January – to be context-sensitive to the surrounding environment.
County Manager Mark Schwartz submitted comments on the design proposed at the April 5 workshop:
VDOT hosted another public workshop on May 2, 2017, to refine the bridge design concepts.
The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission initiated a call for projects for $10 million made available by the Commonwealth for multimodal improvements along the I-66 corridor. Arlington received funding for five projects, most of which are underway and anticipated to be operational by the first day of tolling.
Nearly all future toll revenues are dedicated to support multimodal improvements through the corridor.
In December 2014 the County Board directed the Arlington Transportation Commission to gather concerns and potential mitigation strategies regarding this project.
- In February 2015, the Commission voted to oppose the inclusion of additional lanes or widening of I-66 inside the Beltway in the Transportation Planning Board’s Financially Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan.
- In April 2015, the Commission voted to support several components of the project, including restrictions on I-66 in both directions during peak periods and the removal of the clean fuel vehicle exemption, and urged VDOT to conduct a robust public process for the project.