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Beltway exit to I-66 to close permanently

Thursday - 9/29/2011, 7:48am  ET

66Map.jpg
The left exit to I-66 will close, leaving all traffic with one exit to the right. (Photo courtesy VirginiaHotLanes.com)

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

MERRIFIELD, Va. - Drivers who use the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway and head to westbound Interstate 66 were told to get ready for a big change -- and now the change is here.

Scheduled to take effect on Friday, the left exit from the Inner Loop to westbound I-66 is going away permanently.

Drivers have had two options to get to westbound I-66 from the Inner Loop -- a left exit and a right exit. But now, the left exit (49C) is going away for good because of the High Occupancy Toll lanes work that's happening in the area.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation:

"Drivers will be required to use the existing right exit ramp, 49A, to head westbound on I-66, which is being widened and modified to accommodate the additional traffic. Closure of the left exit ramp is necessary to shift traffic to the new Beltway outer lanes and allow progress to begin on a new HOT Lanes access ramp that will be put in place of the existing left exit for I-66 westbound."

Drivers are being told to use caution with the new travel pattern, as it will be an adjustment.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)