Arlington Brief: Board Splits over I-66 Project

Arlington Brief: Board Splits over I-66 Project

In a 3-2 vote, the County Board on Nov. 19 endorsed in concept the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) I-66 Multimodal Improvement Project: Inside the Beltway.

The goals of the Commonwealth’s Transform66: Inside the Beltway project are to move more people; enhance transportation connectivity; improve transit service; reduce congestion; and increase transportation options.

The board said it endorses “in concept” the implementation of weekday, peak-period, peak-direction, dynamic tolling on I-66 inside the Beltway. It also endorsed in concept the Memorandum of Agreement between the Commonwealth and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission to use toll revenues to fund crucial multimodal improvements around I-66 inside the Beltway.

The board set several goals it wants to achieve for implementing the project. Among those are:

  • VDOT shall not pursue any widening of I-66 inside the Beltway until after a meaningful evaluation of the effectiveness of the project’s tolling, HOV-3 and multimodal components – no sooner than 2025.

  • VDOT will work with affected communities to monitor and mitigate the effects of traffic diversion onto local roads, and to plan and implement a comprehensive multi-year transportation demand management strategy for residents living near and workers using the corridor.

  • Toll revenues shall not supplant existing VDOT funds for the maintenance of I-66 or other facilities in the corridor

  • The project should provide a predictable source of funding to NVTC for multimodal investments, and that the agreement facilitates NVTC’s use of the funding for issuing bonds for larger scale multimodal improvements, including Metrorail.