Construction will ramp up soon on portions of the I-66 Outside the Beltway project, which will yield new express lanes, park and ride lots, improved interchanges and bridges, as well as new bike/pedestrian trails. Here’s what you need to know from the Virginia Department of Transportation about the 22.5 mile project.
Before substantial construction can begin, traffic must be shifted within existing roadways and shoulders to set up a work zone that is safe for drivers and construction crews. Workers then move utilities and clear trees as needed, and install environmental protections such as silt fencing for erosion and stormwater run-off that occurs during construction.
In this multiyear project, there will be many areas of construction, but here’s where you’ll see the first signs of activity this spring:
- Eastbound I-66 at I-495 (Capital Beltway).
- Both directions on I-66 between Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) and east of Waples Mill Road.
- Both directions on Route 28 north of I-66 between Westfields Boulevard and just north of Braddock and Walney Roads; by the end of this project, traffic lights on Route 28 in this area will be eliminated.
- Both directions on I-66 near Gainesville between Route 29 and west of Sudley Road.
- University Boulevard park and ride lot near Gainesville (east of Route 29 interchange).
With all of this construction, here’s what you should know if you’re driving or riding along I-66:
- Initial traffic shifts will move the travel lanes on I-66 toward the center of the roadway to allow construction crews to work safely on the outside shoulder area of I-66 (right hand side for drivers).
- Four travel lanes remain open during peak travel periods.
- Multiple lane closures during overnight periods and on weekends.
- The “red X” signs in use between Route 50 and I-495 will be taken out of service as traffic is shifted.
- HOV-2 regulations on I-66 will remain in effect weekdays from 5:30-9:30 a.m. in the eastbound direction and 3-7 p.m. in the westbound direction.
The Virginia Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, will upgrade I-66 outside the Beltway to include:
- 22.5 miles of new Express Lanes alongside three regular lanes on I-66 from I-495 to Gainesville.
- New and improved bus service and transit routes.
- New and expanded park and ride lots providing convenient access to the Express Lanes and more than 4,000 new park and ride spaces.
- Interchange improvements to enhance safety and reduce congestion, including auxiliary lanes between interchanges, where needed.
- 11 miles of new bike and pedestrian trails, including shared-use trails along I-66 that integrate with local trails, and new crossings of I-66 to improve and expand bicycle and pedestrian routes.
The Board of Supervisors received an update on this project last week at its transportation committee meeting; view the presentation.