A recent Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance newsletter points a ray of sunshine in what usually is gloomy news in regional transportation: a recent district court decision has cleared the way for the first phase of an I-66 widening project.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) awarded a $10.2 million contract on May 19th to build an additional 1.3 mile westbound lane from Fairfax Drive to Sycamore Street on I-66 westbound inside the Beltway. The project will begin this summer and be completed next year, according to the NVTA.
An Arlington Green Party members’ lawsuit had delayed awarding of the contract until a U.S. District Court Judge ruled April 30th in favor of the Commonwealth.
The next 2 phases cover spot improvements between Haycock Road and Westmoreland Street, and between Lee Highway and Glebe Road. The projects will reduce congestion and travel times during peak periods, and increase safety by lengthening merge areas and reducing risk of stop-and-go accidents, according to a press release from Gov. Bob McDonnel’s office.
In other positive transportation news, the NVTA also reported that construction will begin this year on the Fair Lakes Parkway/Monument Drive portion of Fairfax County Parkway, a major bottleneck.
As part of the project, crews will build a grade-separated interchange and widen the parkway from four to six lanes between one-half mile south of I-66 and east of Rugby Road.