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Expanding I-66 toll lanes means building around Metro substation

Bumper-to-bumper traffic is seen on Interstate 66 near the Capital Beltway. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

WASHINGTON — Something stands in the way of the $2.3 billion plan to add two toll lanes to Interstate 66 in each direction, from the Capital Beltway to Gainesville, Va.

It’s a power substation that serves the Dunn Loring Metro station.

One plan involves relocating it, a move Metro would not have to pay for.

Another suggested solution is included in proposed designs submitted by the companies that will build the lanes. Those were placed online for the first time last week.

It involves building a tall flyover ramp that would go over the substation, a Metro station pedestrian bridge and Gallows Road.

“It would probably be about 25—30 feet above the Gallows Road roadbed there,” Virginia Department of Transportation’s Susan Shaw, the project’s manager, told WTOP.

“We understand there are concerns about the visual, noise [and] light impacts of a ramp like this in that area,” Shaw said.

That’s why they’re looking for even more possible solutions.

“Everything is on the table right now in terms of us looking at it,” she added.

Public information meetings about the project are scheduled for June 12 at Oakton High School in Vienna, and June 14 and 15 at locations that have yet to be determined.

I-66 Express Mobility Partners is the group of companies that has agreed to build and operate the lanes, and the financial part of that deal is expected to be finalized in July.

This fall, the project’s design will be finalized, and early construction work is expected to start.

The new lanes, scheduled to open in 2022, will operate like other express lanes in the region do: Drivers with three or more people in the car using an E-ZPass Flex in HOV mode will be able to use the lanes for free. Other drivers will pay a toll that will rise and fall with demand.


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