Finding a solution for the I-66 corridor


The I-66 corridor outside the Beltway may be the most congested corridor in Northern Virginia. Because of this congestion, many of Fairfax Countys secondary roads, including Braddock Road, Route 29, Route 50 and Little River Turnpike, are used as alternatives and therefore are also extremely congested.

In 1999 the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT) performed a Major Investment Study (MIS) for the I-66 corridor.

The MIS concluded that a multimodal investment strategy is required to accommodate projected travel demand in the study area by the year 2020. In 2001, VDOT and VDRPT used the MIS as a starting point for a multimodal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the I-66 corridor from west of the I-66/I-495 interchange to Route 15.

The EIS was stopped in 2002 and there has been no significant work done towards a long term solution for the congestion on I-66 since.

The funds for the EIS have remained available and VDOT and VDRPT have now restarted the multimodal EIS for I-66 outside the Beltway. The revised schedule for the EIS has not been completed but should be available toward the end of the year. Completion of this study is a critical step in the process towards a solution to I-66 congestion.

The completion of the EIS for the Beltway was the key step that attracted the private sector to submit the proposal that will result in a multimodal solution for the Beltway. This occurred in a very short time frame, despite the lack of state funding, and will put HOV and bus routes on the Beltway for the first time.

At the last Board of Supervisors meeting, I made a proposal, which was unanimously approved by the Board, to send a letter to the Secretary of Transportation and the chairman of the NVTA expressing the Boards full support for the timely completion of the multimodal study and that Fairfax County is ready and willing to assist VDOT and VDRPT with the study and to assign county staff to monitor the project.

Easing congestion on I-66 is one of my top priorities and completing the EIS would be a major step in the right direction.

Pat Herrity
Supervisor, Springfield District