Drivers on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway this summer are going to notice the first signs of the project that will bring tolling to the rush-hour lanes next year.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is scheduled to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the project Monday. As a construction project, the inside-the-Beltway work is much less complicated and should be less disruptive than what will eventually happen during the outside-the-Beltway phase, when lanes will be added between the Beltway and Gainesville. That construction is scheduled to begin in 2017.
Also, this part of the inside-the-Beltway work is not the phase that will add an eastbound lane along four miles between the Dulles Connector Road and the Ballston exit. That is scheduled to start construction in 2018.
This part is mostly about setting up the gantries and other support equipment for the tolling system. All drivers using this portion of I-66 inside the Beltway at rush hour will wind up needing an E-ZPass to pay the variable toll or an E-ZPass Flex set to “HOV” to claim the toll exemption for two-person carpools.
On Thursday, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, Virginia’s top policymaking panel on transportation, is scheduled to consider which programs will get money to help travelers leave their cars behind for the I-66 trips.
Many of the 10 programs involve support for carpooling, commuter bus services, improved access to transit centers or enhanced travel information to help people manage their trips. The programs were selected by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and forwarded to the Commonwealth Transportation Board for approval. The chart below lists them and the funding they would receive.