Hank Silverberg, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - There are gong to be some lane changes on I-66 this week that are supposed to make traffic move more efficiently.
Work crews have been have been putting double white stripes on the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-66 at the Route 123 and Nutley Street interchanges.
Those double white lines mean motorists will have limited access into those lanes. The Virginia Department of Transportation says a recent study indicates weaving back and forth between the HOV lanes slows down traffic. Now drivers will only be able to move into the HOV lanes where there's a break in the white lines -- even when HOV restrictions are not applicable.
There's also work being done on the shoulders of the highway between the Beltway and Route 50. A new high-friction surface coating is being laid down on the shoulders so they can be used as a traffic lane during rush hours.
The shoulders will be open to traffic from 5:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. eastbound and 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. westbound. VDOT says the coating is the color of red clay, which will help differentiate these part time lanes from the regular lanes.
There will be an overhead sign with a red "X" or a green arrow to let drivers know when that lane is open or closed.
VDOT is going to monitor both the double white lanes and the shoulder lanes to see what kind of impact they have on traffic flow and safety.
The work is part of a $48 million pavement project for I-66, which is scheduled for completion in November.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)