Getting ready for the new I-66 tolls

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


About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.