The tolls are still four months away, but there’s now action along the new I-66 toll lanes inside the Beltway.
VDOT is testing the electronic cameras and E-ZPass readers that will track vehicles traveling in the lanes once the tolls begin in December. So, drivers may see flashing lights on that equipment, which is mounted on overhead supports.
The testing will continue through the rest of the summer and the fall, but no tolls will be charged until those express toll lanes actually open. Once that happens, the I-66 Express Lanes tolls will operate during weekday rush hours on the nine-mile stretch of road that runs from the Beltway to Route 29 in Rosslyn.
Single-occupant drivers will be able to use the Express Lanes during weekday peak periods by paying a toll. Vehicles with two or more people can continue to use the lanes for free. All vehicles traveling during peak 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 I-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 begin as HOV-2, but will switch to HOV-3 when the I-66 Express Lanes outside the Beltway open in mid-2022, matching the current HOV rules on I-495 and the I-95 Express lanes.
More information can be found at Transform66.org.