VDOT News - Northern Virginia
Michelle Holland 703-586-0487
Oct. 27, 2022
REMAINDER OF I-66 EXPRESS LANES ON TRACK TO OPEN BEFORE END OF YEAR
Opening to occur as early as November; Drivers should expect continued traffic shifts on I-66 as crews complete final preparations
FAIRFAX – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and I-66 Express Mobility Partners (EMP), the Commonwealth’s private partner and operator of the new 66 Express Lanes, announced today that the remaining eastern section of the new 66 Express Lanes is on track to open before the end of 2022, with opening potentially to occur as early as mid-to-late November. This remaining section of express lanes spans approximately 13 miles from Route 28 in Centreville to I-495 (Capital Beltway). Drivers are advised that there will be continued daytime and nighttime construction, and traffic shifts throughout this stretch of I-66, as crews complete final preparations for the remaining express lanes. All work is weather dependent, and weather could affect the final schedule for opening the express lanes. Specific opening date(s) and details will be announced in the coming weeks as final work progresses.
What drivers should expect on I-66 for remainder of October and November:
- Daytime and nighttime construction along I-66 including final paving and roadway striping, shifting of lanes into final alignments, installation of overhead gantries and signs, testing of signs and tolling systems, and placement of flex posts along the roadway dividing express lanes from the general purpose lanes.
- Continued lane closures and traffic shifts including multi-lane closures during nighttime hours.
Once the eastern section of the 66 Express Lanes opens, and tolling and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) rules begin, motorists can choose to use the lanes by paying a toll with an E-ZPass or by using one of the other payment options available through I-66 EMP such as paying online, by mail, by calling 833-643-2867, or in person at the 66 Express Lanes Customer Service Center in Manassas. Payment options other than E-ZPass will incur administrative fees. More information can be found at Ride66Express.com.
Eligible High Occupancy Vehicles (HOVs) can travel the lanes for free with an E-ZPass Flex set to the “HOV-On” mode. After the remaining 66 Express Lanes open, vehicles will need to have three or more occupants to qualify as an HOV and travel the express lanes for free. This change from HOV-2+ to HOV-3+ will apply across the entire I-66 corridor between Route 15 in Haymarket and Route 29 in Rosslyn - including I-66 Express Lanes located inside the Beltway, which operate weekdays only on westbound I-66 from 3-7 p.m. and on eastbound I-66 from 5:30-9:30 a.m.
How I-66 travelers can prepare for opening of the remaining 66 Express Lanes:
- Learn how the 66 Express Lanes work and how to access the lanes by visiting Ride66Express.com.
- Obtain an E-ZPass to pay your tolls, or an E-ZPass Flex to travel toll-free if you travel with three or more occupants by visiting ezpassva.com, calling 877-762-7824, or in person at many Giant and Wegmans grocery stores in Northern Virginia, AAA offices, Fairfax Connector stores, and DMV Customer Service Centers.
- Stay informed about I-66 construction activities and lane closures by visiting Transform66.org and signing up to receive email updates.
The upcoming opening of the eastern portion of 66 Express Lanes follows the September opening of the western section of the 66 Express Lanes from Route 29 in Gainesville to Route 28 in Centreville. This nine-mile stretch of express lanes opened ahead of schedule and features direct access from new ramps at Route 234/Sudley Road, Route 28, and Braddock and Walney roads, as well as convenient access from two new commuter parking lots at University Boulevard (Gainesville) and Century Park Drive (Manassas), which were built as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project.
Following the upcoming opening of the remaining 66 Express Lanes, final construction elements on project features such as a shared-use trail adjacent to I-66 will continue and are scheduled to be completed by mid-2023.
About the Project:
The Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project provides 22.5 miles of new express lanes (two lanes in each direction alongside three regular lanes), with dedicated express lane access ramps, and median space reserved for future transit. In addition, the project will provide approximately 4,000 park and ride spaces, new and expanded commuter bus service on Fairfax County Connector and Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission Omniride, safety and operational improvements at key interchanges, auxiliary lanes between interchanges, and bicycle and pedestrian paths and connections.
The Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project is delivering about $3.7 billion worth of transportation improvements benefitting Northern Virginia’s I-66 corridor, financed by I-66 Express Mobility Partners, a consortium of private developers Cintra, Meridiam and APG.
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.