State Approves I-66 Inside the Beltway Plan; Tolls Begin in 2017

The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved a plan Wednesday for I-66 inside the Beltway, one of the nation’s most congested highways. The plan calls for rush-hour tolling to begin in 2017, with all toll revenue reinvested into the I-66 corridor inside the Beltway.

Construction of the toll system is expected to begin in the summer.

UPDATE: Design Public Hearings:

  • March 7: Arlington
  • March 8: Ashburn
  • March 9: Fairfax
I-66 project map

The I-66 Inside the Beltway project area includes: I-66 from I-495 to Route 29 in Rosslyn, parallel roads (including Routes 7, 29, 50 and 613), Metrorail’s Orange and Silver Lines, and major bus and bicycle routes.

The key highlights of the plan include:

  • If you carpool today (two or more people in a vehicle), you will continue to ride the lanes for free when dynamic tolling is scheduled to begin in 2017 during morning and evening rush-hours (5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. eastbound and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. westbound).
  • If you drive solo, then you can ride the lanes by paying a variable toll during rush hours based on the distance you travel. Average toll is expected to be $6 a trip.
  • In 2020, lanes will be free to vehicles with three or more people during rush-hours (carpoolers, vanpools and buses) and motorcycles per adopted regional policy. All others, including two or more people, will pay a variable toll.
  • The lanes will remain free to all traffic during off-peak periods. There will be no tolling in the reverse commute.
  • All of the revenues raised from the tolls will finance transportation improvements in the corridor. Estimated toll revenue in 2018 is $18 million.
  • Should traffic not flow better in five years, toll revenues will be used to widen I-66 eastbound from the Dulles Connector Road to Ballston.

A separate plan is under consideration for I-66 outside the Beltway to Gainesville.

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