Weekend lane closings on I-66

Three of four lanes on eastbound I-66 are scheduled to close tonight and Saturday night as part of Virginia’s resurfacing project between Route 50 and the Capital Beltway. Drivers who have been caught up in previous lane closings tell me that traffic is painfully slow, at least in the early hours.

But before the work started, I often received complaints about the state of the I-66 pavement just west of the Beltway. So this was the response from the Virginia Department of Transportation: a $48 million project to repair and resurface six and a half miles on both sides of I-66 west of the Beltway. The work is scheduled to be done in fall 2012.

Drivers don’t object to the project, but some are bothered by the relatively early start time for the night work.

Tonight, two of four eastbound lanes will be closed from 8 to 11 p.m. Three of four eastbound lanes will be closed from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday.

On Saturday night, two of four eastbound lanes will be closed from 8 to 11 p.m. Three of four eastbound lanes will be closed from 11 p.m. until 9 a.m. Sunday.

Resurfacing isn’t a solution to the terrible congestion in that area. After all, once this work is done, the crawl will be smoother, but it will still be I-66.

VDOT also announced several citizen information meetings, sponsored jointly with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, to discuss the state study on various ways of improving travel in the I-66 corridor from the Beltway west to Route 15 in Prince William County, a distance of about 25 miles.

VDOT says the study will identify transportation needs within the corridor and evaluate the impact of proposed improvements. The study is scheduled to be done in late 2012.

The upcoming information meetings are a standard part of the process under the National Environmental Policy Act, leading to an environmental impact statement on various proposals.

The first meeting is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Four Points by Sheraton, 10800 Vandor Lane, Manassas. The second will be Thursday, same hours, at the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Northern Virginia District Office, 4975 Alliance Dr., Fairfax.

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.

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