I-66 toll lanes opponents work to save homes in lanes’ path

WASHINGTON — Advocates for fewer cars on roadways, and the families who could lose their homes because of the planned expansion and new toll lanes on Interstate 66 took their complaints Wednesday to the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Residents of the Virginia’s Dunn Loring and Vienna areas argue that they should not lose their homes or their elementary school’s outdoor space when plans call for no expansion outside the existing roadway just about a mile down the road, inside the Beltway.

Virginia Department of Transportation plans call for new toll lanes similar to the 95 and 495 Express Lanes in addition to new interchanges.

The residents say those interchanges will include flyover ramps that no sound wall can help mitigate.

Other arguments in the public comment period included support and opposition to more transit spending as part of or instead of the project.

On Tuesday, Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne promised he would only approve a project with some type of transit option available, but one VDOT plan still in play leaves no option for future bus or rail expansion in the median of I-66 outside the Beltway.

Also, Layne said Tuesday that the project could be done through public financing rather than a public-private partnership.

Business groups, including the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday that the private sector could help the state hedge the risk of toll lane usage falling below projections as it has in other projects.

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