VDOT News - Northern Virginia
Michelle Holland 703-586-0487
Nov. 29, 2022
Governor Glenn Youngkin Joins Virginia Officials and Partners at Ribbon Cutting to Mark Opening of I-66 Express Lanes
New express lanes between Route 29 in Gainesville and I-495 set to transform travel on I-66 by unlocking congestion with new, faster and more reliable travel choices
FAIRFAX, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin joined Virginia Secretary of Transportation W. Sheppard Miller III, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and other federal, state and local officials, as well as the Commonwealth’s private partner, I-66 Express Mobility Partners (a consortium of private developers Cintra, Meridiam, and APG), and the design-build contractor, FAM Construction (a joint venture between Ferrovial Construction and Allan Myers), today at a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially recognize the opening of the 66 Express Lanes Outside the Beltway. The final section of new lanes opened on Tuesday, Nov. 22, providing a total of 22.5 miles of express lanes on Interstate 66 from I-495 (the Capital Beltway) to Route 29 in Gainesville.
“Today’s ribbon cutting celebrates the opening of the 66 Express Lanes, the cornerstone of the Commonwealth’s efforts to transform I-66 into a reliable travel corridor that will move more people through Northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area,” said Governor Youngkin. “Virginia continues to lead the nation and region in delivering transportation solutions efficiently that improve travel, quality of life and the economy. Together, with our partners, I-66 Express Mobility Partners and FAM Construction, we are pleased to offer Virginians, visitors and the broader region, relief from daily congestion on I-66 by providing a new, faster and more predictable travel choice on the express lanes.”
“The new 66 Express Lanes are a critical part of the Commonwealth’s more than 90-mile express lanes network planned in Northern Virginia,” commented Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shep Miller. “The opening of this important project is a major accomplishment, and demonstrates Virginia’s commitment to having a first-class transportation system that meets current and future traffic demands. This major initiative, which is the result of a strong partnership between the public and private sector, provides transportation benefits to Virginians that extend beyond the express lanes including new and stronger pavement on the general purpose lanes, reconstruction of interchanges and replacement of bridges and other infrastructure.”
The new 66 Express Lanes provide improved access from points west to major employment and activity centers including Tysons and Fairfax Corner. Direct connections to and from the express lanes are located at major interchanges along the I-66 corridor, including Route 28, Route 50, Route 123, and I-495. Additionally, first-time connections are available between the express lanes and major transit hubs including two new park and ride lots built as part of the project in Prince William County at University Boulevard in Gainesville and Balls Ford Road in Manassas, as well as at Monument Drive and Vaden Drive in Fairfax County (near the Vienna-Fairfax/GMU Metrorail Station).
“I want to thank and acknowledge the innovative public-private partnerships and collaboration that made the 66 Express Lanes project possible,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen Brich. “Together, we opened one of the nation’s largest transportation improvement projects ahead of schedule, completely transforming I-66 into an expanded, multimodal facility with improvements and new choices that will benefit the 170,000+ vehicles who rely on I-66 daily. The 66 Express Lanes project is a great example of what can be accomplished when we work together toward a common goal.”
“On behalf of all of Express Mobility Partners and FAM Construction, we are proud to open the new 66 Express Lanes outside the Beltway, turning the long-anticipated express lanes into a reality, and providing new and improved travel options along the I-66 corridor,” said Luis Vasquez, CEO of I-66 Express Mobility Partners. “We look forward to meeting the transportation needs of Northern Virginia and the entire region by ensuring that customers have a reliable and quality experience when traveling on the 66 Express Lanes.”
Motorists can choose to use the 66 Express Lanes, which are adjacent to general purpose lanes on I-66, by paying a toll. Toll prices are dynamic, and fluctuate depending on traffic volumes in order to manage demand for the lanes and keep traffic flowing. Eligible High Occupancy Vehicles (HOVs) can use the 66 Express Lanes toll-free but must have an E-ZPass Flex set to the “HOV On” mode. Starting Monday, Dec. 5, vehicles will need to have three or more occupants to qualify as HOV on I-66 and travel the express lanes without paying a toll. The change from HOV-2+ to HOV-3+ will apply across the entire I-66 corridor, and is consistent with HOV requirements on the other express lanes in Northern Virginia and regional goals of moving more people with fewer vehicles.
The first section of the new 66 Express Lanes, located in the western area of the corridor between Gainesville and Route 28 in Centreville, opened early on September 10, followed by the lanes between Route 28 and I-495 opening in the westbound direction on November 19, and in the eastbound direction on November 22. Overall, the new express lanes opened ahead of schedule.
The Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project will deliver about $3.7 billion worth of transportation improvements benefitting Northern Virginia’s I-66 corridor, financed by I-66 Express Mobility Partners. These improvements include $2.3 billion in construction and design costs, $500 million for smaller improvement projects in the I-66 corridor with our local partners, $800 million for transit service in the corridor, and $350 million for future transportation improvements benefitting the I-66 corridor.
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.