Michelle Holland 703-259-3378, 703-586-0487
June 27, 2016
VDOT COMPLETES ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY OF TRANSFORM 66 OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY IMPROVEMENTS
Federal Highway Administration Issues 'Finding of No Significant Impact'
Culminating more than two years of extensive study and public involvement, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced it received a "Finding of No Significant Impact" (FONSI) from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway improvements, clearing the way for the project to move forward with design and construction.
The FONSI was issued after review of VDOT's Tier 2 Final Environmental Assessment (EA), which studied the environmental consequences associated with multimodal transportation improvements for I-66 outside the Beltway.
"This is an essential step toward bringing faster, more reliable trips to tens of thousands of daily I-66 users," said Helen Cuervo, VDOT's Northern Virginia District Engineer. "We now have the 'green light' to move forward in remaking I-66 and providing new ways to move more people with greater efficiency."
Apparent to any regular user, travel on I-66 over the past several years has grown increasingly difficult. Heavy and growing traffic congestion, limited travel choices, safety and operational issues, and a lack of trip reliability combine to increase trip times and lower quality of life for users, whether they drive alone, carpool or use transit.
With population in Fairfax and Prince William counties and Fairfax City expected to increase 20 percent between 2010 and 2030 and employment to surge 50 percent over the same period, VDOT initiated the EA to assess how combinations of previously-studied concepts could move more people with greater efficiency. Carried out between July 2014 and June 2016, the study effort evaluated site-specific conditions and potential effects the proposed improvements would have on the natural and human environment. Guided by extensive public input, the EA recommended:
- Three regular lanes in each direction
- Two express lanes in each direction
- High-frequency bus service with predictable travel times
- Direct access between the express lanes and new or expanded commuter lots
The completion of the environmental study process sets the stage for VDOT to move forward with designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the improvements.
Additional information about all aspects of I-66 outside the Beltway are available at the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway website.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.