The Commonwealth Transportation Board of Virginia approved the creation of HOT lanes on I-66 inside the Capital Beltway.
The state of Virginia already has a network of HOT lanes set up on I-95 and part of the Capital Beltway. However, the HOT lanes on I-66 inside the beltway, will be set up without first adding lane capacity, cutting down on construction time and costs.
The HOT lanes will add capacity of 40,000 more people per day by 2040, VDOT predicts. Construction work for the HOV lanes is minimal and VDOT plans to complete the project by the middle of 2017.
The board also accepted a deal with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission that gives the commission control over distributing toll revenue for programs, such as carpooling and commuter buses.
Virgina Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration estimates that the tolls will draw $18 million in gross revenue during the first full year of operation in 2018. The revenue is expected to translate to about $8 to $10 million in revenue for the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission to assign to projects such as improved bus service or carpooling and road improvements in the corridor.
Part of the revenue is expected to be used later to widen I-66 eastbound to three through lanes from the Dulles Connector to Ballston. The agreement delays consideration of that widening until the early 2020s.