VDOT News - Northern Virginia
Michelle Holland 703-586-0487
Aug. 11, 2017
Testing Underway for I-66 Inside the Beltway Express Lanes Tolling System
Toll gantries showing periodic flashing lights and electronic signs showing test messages; no tolling to occur until December opening
FAIRFAX – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is conducting field testing of the electronic tolling equipment for the I-66 Inside the Beltway Express Lanes to ensure the system is fully functional when tolling begins this December during weekday, rush hour periods. Testing is currently underway and will continue through the remainder of the summer and fall. No tolling will occur until the rush-hour-only Express Lanes open.
Drivers are now seeing flashing lights indicating testing of tolling equipment mounted on overhead gantries along I-66 Inside the Beltway including cameras and E-ZPass readers, as well as test messages displayed on new electronic toll signs on I-66. Crews also are testing indicator lights, which briefly flash to indicate that a vehicle is traveling with an E-ZPass Flex in the HOV mode and will be used for HOV enforcement once the express lanes are in operation.
Dynamically-tolled express lanes are scheduled to begin in December 2017 on the nine-mile stretch of I-66, from I-495 to U.S. Route 29 in Rosslyn, providing single-occupant drivers a new option to use the lanes during weekday peak periods. Vehicles with two or more people can continue to use the lanes for free. All vehicles traveling during these periods will need an E-ZPass transponder, and HOV-2+ vehicles will need an E-ZPass Flex transponder switched to HOV-mode to travel for free.
Once open in December, the 66 Express Lanes Inside the Beltway will be effective from 5:30 to 9:30 a.m. eastbound and from 3 to 7 p.m. westbound, Monday through Friday. The lanes will remain free to all users during the off-peak periods, including weekends.
The 66 Express Lanes Inside the Beltway will open as HOV-2, but will switch to HOV-3 when the 66 Outside the Beltway Express Lanes open in mid-2022, matching the current HOV rules on I-495 and I-95 Express lanes.
More information can be found at Transform66.org.
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