WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Plan For I-66 Toll Lanes Moves Forward

Doug Kerr: https://flic.kr/p/dmQJMc

In Virginia, no road project gets built without the blessing of the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The board is made up of 18 members, and it decides which projects are funded across the state. Now, you can add the toll lanes on I-66 outside the Beltway to the list: That plan is now one crucial step closer to final approval.

"Which brings us one step closer to receiving the final federal clearance to moving forward with this project, and we anticipate that will come in the next few months," says Nick Donohue, deputy secretary of transportation in Virginia. He says construction is scheduled to begin in 2017.

"This is one of the key state actions that was necessary to complete the federal environmental process, which is necessary for us to use federal funds for construction," Donohue says.

I-66 between the Beltway and Haymarket will be expanded to five lanes in each direction: three regular lanes and two express toll lanes where HOV-3 carpoolers would ride free. Even though the federal environmental approvals are expected in a couple of months, the new highway's final design remains a work in progress — and that's important to residents like Deanna Heier in Dunn Loring, where five homeowners could be displaced and others could lose property.

"They did not consider the environmental and community impact when this design first came out in January," Heier says. The final design will be ready in a year — "and then we will find out our fate at that point."

Along the entire 25-mile corridor, a total of 11 homes could be condemned with more than 160 other partial land takings, including a lot of backyards. The project has also become a political issue, with candidates running for the General Assembly railing against the tolls.


He Died At 32, But A Young Artist Lives On In LA's Underground Museum

When Noah Davis founded the museum, he wanted to bring world-class art to a neighborhood he likened to a food desert, meaning no grocery stores or museums. Davis died a year ago Monday.

The Strange, Twisted Story Behind Seattle's Blackberries

Those tangled brambles are everywhere in the city, the legacy of an eccentric named Luther Burbank whose breeding experiments with crops can still be found on many American dinner plates.
WAMU 88.5

State Taxes, School Budgets And The Quality Of Public Education

Budget cutbacks have made it impossible for many states to finance their public schools. But some have bucked the trend by increasing taxes and earmarking those funds for education. Taxes, spending and the quality of public education.


Listen: 'Web Site Story,' NPR's Musical About The Internet — From 1999

Found in our archives: an Internet-themed remake of West Side Story from the dot-com bubble era. It begins with Bill Gates and features the sound of a modem but isn't as obsolete as you might expect.

Leave a Comment

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