McDonnell: 19 firms offer recommendations to unclog I-66

i66-trafficGovernor Bob McDonnell says 19 private-sector firms have offered recommendations for solutions to improve Interstate 66.

The recommendations are in response to a Request for Information (RFI) issued by the Commonwealth in late June. The RFI sought innovative and creative solutions to ease the congested I-66 corridor from the Capital Beltway to Route 15 in Haymarket.

“The RFI is part of the Commonwealth’s plan to transform I-66 from a highly congested corridor to a multi-modal transportation facility that moves traffic and people more efficiently,” said McDonnell.

The RFI was released by the Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnership, the Virginia (OTP3) Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).

Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton added, “The Commonwealth has asked for the best and brightest ideas from both the public and private sectors and that resulting synergy will provide the most effective solutions to ease congestion and improve travel on I-66.”

Express Lanes?

The RFI sought private sector input on a range of best practices and innovative approaches to develop and finance transportation improvements on a 25-mile section of I-66 from U.S. Route 15 in Prince William County to I-495 in Fairfax County. Improvements under consideration could add additional capacity to the road, provide multi-modal options and possibly finance the project through tolled express lanes, similar to the 495 Express Lanes.

Responses to the RFI follow a recent project milestone by the Federal Highway Administration, in which it issued a Record of Decision on the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement study of I-66, clearing the way for the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) to select one or more of the final 10 concepts for detailed analysis. These concepts would increase capacity within the corridor, as well as options to increase travel mode choices, improve individual interchanges, address spot safety needs, and enhance travel efficiency.

Early next year, the CTB will consider the RFI responses when advancing the I-66 study to next phase in the environmental review process.

“Collaborative efforts between VDOT’s Environmental Division and the OTP3 to gather and concurrently process information such as traffic projections, geotechnical data, as well as identify other key risk factors will ensure recommendations are provided to decision makers in an expedited timeframe,” said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley.

 

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.