I-66 Shoulder Lanes to Open When Needed


I-66 Shoulder Lanes to Open When Needed

Starting Wednesday, September 16, the shoulder lanes on I-66 between the Beltway and U.S. 50 will be opened when needed anytime of the day or night, including weekends.

Shoulder lane open hours will still be in effect during the same morning and afternoon peak periods, Monday through Friday, regardless of traffic flow.

As you may have noticed, a significant number of new, overhead signs have been placed on I-66 as part of the implementation of the I-66 Active Traffic Management (ATM) program. In addition to opening shoulder lanes when needed, ATM will provide alerts to accidents and also notify drivers of a reduction of speed limits as needed to help keep traffic moving at a constant pace.

Traffic flow will be monitored remotely by VDOT, and green arrows will be illuminated on the overhead signs above the shoulder lanes when congestion occurs.

While ATM has been operational in other parts of the United States and Europe, this is a first for Virginia and the Washington metropolitan area. If you drive on I-66, please let me know how well this congestion reduction plan works, especially if you experience congestion and the shoulder lane remains closed. I will keep VDOT informed about how ATM is working based on my own frequent use of the road and your comments.

This initiative is among several that I proposed to Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation five years ago to improve traffic flow on I-66. The idea came from a resident of the 67th district who I met while door knocking in the Fair Lakes area. One reason that implementation has taken a long time is due to the need to obtain the blessing of the Federal Highway Administration, as I-66 is a federal highway.