Truck driving through clay soil road.Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project construction ramped up in April 2018, with the new Express Lanes and other travel improvements planned to open by late 2022. The project is a public-private partnership between VDOT, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, and private partner I-66 Express Mobility Partners. Construction is being led by FAM Construction, LLC, a partnership between Ferrovial Agroman US and Allan Myers, VA. Find out more about what’s happening now, what’s coming up, what it means to I-66 travelers and area residents, and how to stay informed.

What We've Been Doing

Work during the last month has focused on shifting travel lanes on I-66 to set up work zones that are safe for drivers and construction crews. These lane shifts will continue through the summer and involve setting up concrete barriers, removing rumble strips and other pavement markings, and restriping the roadway with new lines and markings. Recent lane shifts include:

  • Eastbound I-66 between Route 29 in Gainesville and Sudley Road (Route 234 Business)
  • Eastbound I-66 between Bull Run Drive and Route 29 in Centreville
  • Westbound I-66 at I-495       

Tree removal and land clearing has increased, with activity around the Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) Interchange, along north and southbound Route 28, and on Poplar Tree Road near Route 28. Clearing has also begun on the future University Blvd Park and Ride lot in Gainesville and the new access road for E.C. Lawrence Park in Centreville.

What's Coming Up

Tree removal and lane shifts will continue. Clearing is planned within VDOT right of way inside multiple interchanges and along I-66 and Route 28 where work zones have been set up. Work will also continue on both the future University Blvd Park and Ride lot and E.C. Lawrence Park access road.

Traffic lane shifts are planned in the following areas:
  • Eastbound and westbound I-66 between Route 28 and Route 50
  • Westbound I-66 between Route 29 in Centreville and Bull Run Drive

Truck driving through clay soil road.

As construction ramps up throughout the Summer, some early construction activities continue, such as:

Pre-Construction Condition Surveys

FAM Construction is conducting voluntary pre-construction condition surveys of properties located within approximately 100 feet of the project corridor. The surveys document existing conditions of homes and properties located near the project corridor before construction starts, and are completely voluntary on the part of the property owner. These surveys are unrelated to right of way acquisition or surveying. Property owners eligible for a survey are being contacted through a letter in the mail.

Find more information and see a sample letter here.

Geotechnical and Utility Surveys

Before construction can begin, project crews need to know what’s underground. This means survey crews are in the field locating and marking utilities that are buried in the corridor, such as phone lines, water lines and gas lines.

Crews are taking soil samples to determine how strong the soil and rock are where they’ll be building. Some of this work has required clearing trees and brush on VDOT right of way near I-66 – sometimes both inside and outside the noise walls – to make room for soil boring equipment.

Most geotechnical and utility survey work is occurring within VDOT’s right of way. If access to private properties is needed, property owners are being notified on an individual basis.

Right of Way

VDOT and the I-66 Express Mobility Partners team have worked to minimize the right of way required for the project while maintaining the most effective and viable transportation solutions for the 22.5-mile corridor. As of early 2018, a total of 10 residential relocations and 292 partial property acquisitions had been identified.

Outreach to affected property owners has been underway since March 2017 and will continue through 2018. The process begins with outreach and letters to impacted homeowners, followed by property appraisals and interviews with property owners. Appraisals are generally followed 75-90 days later by offers for properties and acquisition negotiations. Further information about the right-of-way acquisition process can be found in VDOT’s brochure, Right of Way and Utilities: A Guide for Property Owners and Tenants.

For questions specific to the right of way acquisition process, email us.

What Travelers Can Expect

  • Four travel lanes remain open during peak travel periods, with the exception of a portion of I-66 near Gainesville which will have three lanes during peak periods during peak periods . . . . 4 lanes open!
  • Single lane closures (three travel lanes remain open) during mid-day periods on weekdays
  • Multiple lane closures during overnight periods and on weekends
  • The “red X” signs in use between Route 50 and I-495 (Beltway) will be transitioned out of service as traffic is shifted. The first shift will be from Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) to Route 50
  • HOV-2 regulations on I-66 will remain in effect weekdays from 5:30-9:30 a.m. in the eastbound direction and 3-7 p.m. in the westbound direction
  • Drivers during off-peak periods should be prepared for construction-related merges, temporary lane closures, and unexpected behavior by other drivers. Drivers should be vigilant, observe all traffic signs, and maintain the posted speed limit

Initial traffic shifts will move the travel lanes on I-66 toward the center of the roadway to allow construction crews to work safely on the outside shoulder area of I-66 (right hand side for drivers).  Later in the project, traffic will be shifted away from the center of the roadway to allow work to be done on the inner portion of I-66 (left hand side for drivers).  

What Residents Can Expect

VDOT and its project partners, I-66 Express Mobility Partners and FAM Construction, are committed to being a good neighbor to local communities during construction of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project. Minimizing construction-related impacts such as noise and traffic disruptions is a top priority, but some impacts are unavoidable. Construction activities requiring lane closures must be completed during non-peak periods to ensure the safety of travelers, residents and our workers.

Construction updates and lane closures will be communicated in advance to surrounding communities through the project web site, social media, news media, project emails, and more.

Staying Informed

  • Sign up for regular electronic updates on construction activities, lane closures and traffic changes
  • Visit regularly to learn about construction progress, and read the latest news and information
  • Request a project briefing for your homeowners’ association, neighborhood or community group

Follow VDOT’s Social Media for updates