Segment of new I-66 Express Lanes set to open

Work crews are putting the finishing touches on the western section of new Interstate 66 Express Lanes in Virginia, according to the state’s transportation department.

The 9-mile section, which runs between Route 28 in Centreville and Route 29 in Gainesville, could open as soon as Saturday.

A partially-covered sign near an entrance to I-66 displayed the word “test,” where a variable fare price will eventually be shown. (WTOP/John Aaron)

Crews with bucket trucks could be seen working on the sign above the left entrance to the lanes in Centreville, early Friday morning.

At first, the express lanes will be free. That’s so drivers can “get familiar with the new capacity and entry and exits points,” according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

VDOT is urging motorists who don’t already have an E-ZPass transponder installed in their vehicles to get one.

Even after the switch to tolling, the lanes will be free to High Occupancy Vehicles with E-ZPass Flex transponders set to “carpool mode,” VDOT said. Tolls rise and fall with the time of day and traffic conditions.

Drivers headed east on I-66 can get on the new lanes before Route 29 in Gainesville and by using a slip ramp before Route 234 Business. Westbound drivers can get on the Express Lanes from the general purpose lanes before Route 28.

There will be ramps to the lanes at Route 234/Sudley Road, Route 28, and Braddock and Walney Roads, as well as at commuter parking lots along University Boulevard in Gainesville and Century Park Boulevard in Manassas.

Another section of new Interstate 66 Express Lanes, from Route 28 to Interstate 495, is scheduled to open in December.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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