FAIRFAX, Va. - Commuters dealing with the Interstate 66 tolls inside the Beltway are in store for another headache next week when a four-year construction project kicks off.
It is part of an entire overhaul of I-66 outside of the Beltway to eventually have two toll lanes, three regular drive lanes, new and expanded transit service and Park and Ride lots, and improved interchanges that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) hopes will improve safety and reduce congestion.
According to VDOT, four lanes are expected to stay open during rush hour. But the red "X" shoulder lanes will close permanently. That will most likely affect I-66 between Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) and Route 50. Drivers will likely see more congestion there with construction and the loss of those lanes.
On the weekend of April 14, work will start in Fairfax County at Route 123 as well as Prince William County at Route 29. By May, the work will expand along I-66 around Route 50.
The toll lanes are expected to be complete by 2022 and will be active in both directions. Just like inside the Beltway, the amount of traffic will dictate the price. But three or more people and an E-ZPass Flex will get you a free ride. Motorcycles and buses also will not have to pay the tolls.
Private companies are funding these construction projects and will collect the toll revenue, but will pay VDOT in partnership to help fund some of the Park and Ride construction.