Va. leaders hear concerns over proposed I-66 toll lanes

WASHINGTON –A proposal to place toll lanes on a portion of Interstate 66 has drawn concern among Arlington County residents, who fear the new lanes would push more traffic on to Arlington streets.

In trying to tackle congestion on I-66, the Virginia Department of Transportation has come up with the Transform 66 Project, which proposes toll lanes inside the Beltway, between Rosslyn and Interstate 495,  during peak periods.

Virginia Del. Patrick Hope (D-47th District), who represents Arlington, invited V-DOT to brief the public on the proposed fixes Saturday at the Arlington Central Library’s auditorium.

“I want to hear what’s on your mind. I think it’s very important to hear what you’re thinking about this proposal and ways we could improve it,” Hope said to residents.

Amanda Baxter, special projects development manager, said V-DOT’s studies on those proposed toll lanes were nearly complete.

Baxter cited two studies at Saturday’s briefing: One was the toll and revenue study that’s being done on the toll collection; the second study  was a traffic study conducted to understand congestion relief on I-66, as well as arterial diversion.

Hope said he’d like to see a comprehensive multi-modal approach to fixing I-66. He said he is hearing concerns and fears from constituents over V-DOT’s plan so far, but he’s also hearing that people want the problems fixed.

Baxter said V-DOT is expected to present its plan on the I-66 fix to the public in October. She also said the proposed toll lanes would be operated by V-DOT, which is not the case for the I-95 and I-495 express lanes in Virginia, which are operated by Transurban.

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