Virginia Proposes Adding Express Lanes To I-66 | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Proposes Adding Express Lanes To I-66

Play associated audio
Changes may be coming to I-66.
Wikimedia Commons
Changes may be coming to I-66.

If Interstate 66 is a commuting nightmare, Virginia dreams of offering you a faster ride for a price.

The highway would be widened to five lanes in each direction from the Beltway to Haymarket, under plans unveiled by the Virginia Department of Transportation to fix one of the region's most congested commuting corridors.

Three lanes would be open to all traffic; two lanes would be tolled, unless you are HOV-3. This plan is in line with what the state has done on 495 and 95: build new capacity but charge drivers to use it, unless they are carpooling.

"The tolling should be to compensate the risk and the amount of capital put in to support the additional capacity," says Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne.

The private sector would bear the risk and the capital, and 66 would be the third highway project in Northern Virginia where the toll revenue goes to the private firm hired to finance and build it, like the 495 and 95 Express Lanes.

"There is no way, and I don't [think] Virginia is by any stretch out of the ordinary, that all the projects - these multi-billion dollar projects - can be built without looking at alternative financing sources," says Layne.

Construction could begin in 2017 once a private partner is secured. The project could cost $2 to $3 billion, but officials say it won't be just for cars. They plan to add plenty of express bus service to 66 to connect thousands to their jobs.

NPR

For Native Alaskans, Holiday Menu Looks To The Wild

Thanksgiving menus traditionally celebrate the bounty of late fall. In rural Alaska, that means walrus, moose, fermented fish heads and Eskimo ice cream — salmonberries mixed with Crisco.
NPR

Why American Honey Importers Are Wary Of 'Turkish' Honey

American honey importers say they've noticed an odd surge in cheap honey from Turkey. They think some of that honey really came from China, which is subject to U.S. trade restrictions.
NPR

EPA Proposes New Rules To Curb Ozone Levels

The rules would lower the threshold for ozone from 75 parts per billion to between 65 ppb and 70 ppb. They are likely to be opposed by industry groups as well as Republicans.
NPR

In Darren Wilson's Testimony, Familiar Themes About Black Men

Wilson's descriptions of Michael Brown reminded some people of negative depictions of African-Americans in history. Recent studies suggest these perceptions have deeper psychological roots.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.