Regions

Virginia seeks help from private sector to ease traffic on I-66

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The Commonwealth of Virginia announced Thursday that it’s looking for help from the private sector to ease traffic congestion on I-66 in Northern Virginia.

The Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships, Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation issued a Request for Information (RFI) to seek private sector input on 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 would add additional capacity to the road, provide multimodal options and possibly finance the project through tolled express lanes, similar to the I-495 Express Lanes.

Information from the RFI responses may result in a formal procurement of a contract, possibly through the Public Private Transportation Act.

Currently, I-66 corridor improvements are in the environmental review process. Following public hearings last spring, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) advanced the following concepts from the Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement for further consideration:

• Widen I-66 by building additional general purpose lanes that would not be tolled.

• Convert the existing high occupancy vehicle lane into either a one or two lane (in each direction) facility that would be free to carpoolers, buses and emergency vehicles. The HOV lanes would operate similar to the I-495 Express Lanes, which were completed in late 2012, and the I-95 Express Lanes, which are under construction.

• Locate Bus Rapid Transit in the median of I-66 extending west from Vienna to Haymarket.

The CTB also advanced improving certain interchanges and choke points, increasing connections between travel modes, enhancing traveler information and traffic operations technology and making location-specific safety improvements for further consideration.

Virginia said it a statement it also welcomed additional improvement concepts for other transportation alternatives, such as Metrorail extension and light rail transit.

RFI responses are due by Nov. 25. For more information on the I-66 RFI and other project details, visit http://www.I66ppta.org

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