Virginia seeks ideas, money to improve I-66

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MANASSAS, Va. – If you’ve ever driven Interstate 66, chances are you’ve thought, “There’s got to be a better way.”

Virginia’s governor agrees.

Gov. Bob McDonnell is looking to the private sector for ideas — and eventually money — to ease congestion on I-66.

The state is asking businesses to share ideas for public-private partnerships to improve traffic flow, safety and communications in the 25-mile stretch between Va. 15 in Prince William County and the Capital Beltway in Fairfax County.

“The goal is to make I-66 an efficient and dynamic transportation facility so that motorists and commuters save time and money, while cutting down on the stress and cost of waiting in traffic,” McDonnell says in a statement.

Virginia officials want to explore widening I-66 by building additional lanes, as well as converting HOV lanes into toll or carpool lanes — similar to the current I-495 Express Lanes and the I-95 Express Lanes, the latter of which are under construction.

Also being studied: running buses in the median of I-66 from Vienna to Haymarket.

The commonwealth says it welcomes alternatives that would mean fewer vehicles on I-66, including Metrorail extension and light-rail transit.

In addition, Virginia wants to hear ideas on building new Park and Ride facilities, electric car charging stations in rest areas and the possibility of advertising and road sponsorships.

Interested are being asked for input by Nov. 25. More information can be found here.

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