Neighbors who live along Interstate 66 in Arlington and Falls Church got a look at the plans for the Eastbound Widening Project on Wednesday night, and they liked what they saw.
Work is underway to add a third lane to eastbound I-66 between the Dulles Connector Road and Fairfax Drive. But that’s not all.
The project, funded by a combination of federal and state sources, is being used to build a pedestrian and bicycle bridge to carry the Washington & Old Dominion Trail over Route 29, Lee Highway.
“I think the pedestrian bridge is a really good idea. I think it’s needed,” said Dianne Vandivier, of Falls Church. She was among the residents who attended a community briefing on the project.
The project will also construct a ramp that will provide direct access from I-66 eastbound to the West Falls Church Metro station.
“This is a kind of elegant and relatively inexpensive solution to get people directly there,” said Tim Stevens of Falls Church. The direct access ramp to Metro is expected to ease congestion in the area and boost safety.
“That will be a great improvement, improving operations and safety for people trying to get to the Metro station,” said Mark Gibney, project director for VDOT.
The neighborhoods along the busy highway are also getting new noise walls in many locations.
“I love, personally, extending the height of the sound barriers,” said Vandivier, whose property abuts the highway.
The timeline calls for the third lane eastbound on I-66 inside the Capital Beltway, construction of pedestrian and bicycle bridge, and the installation of the noise walls to be completed in fall 2020.
The direct access ramp to the West Falls Church Metro station is scheduled to be finished in fall 2021.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correctly identify the source of funding for the widening project.