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I-66 closings starting tonight

Dulles Connector Road detour 9-23-10.jpg

Dulles Metrorail project map shows detour route for overnight closings of westbound I-66.

The Dulles Metrorail construction is going to shut westbound Interstate 66 at the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) starting tonight and continuing overnights through Saturday.

The closings will occur between midnight and 5 a.m., so they shouldn't be a major problem for traffic, but they will involve an extensive detour.

Drivers bound for destinations along I-66 west of Arlington County will be detoured to the Dulles Connector Road westbound, then onto southbound Route 123 south toward Tysons Corner. Drivers then will take a right onto the ramp to the Capital Beltway's outer loop, toward Richmond. Drivers can then rejoin I-66 from the Beltway.

If you're heading west on I-66 and your destination is just inside the Beltway, it would be best to exit the interstate before reaching the split for the Dulles Connector Road. If you're heading for Falls Church or the Idylwood area, for example, the project managers suggest that you exit before the detour and use Route 29/Washington Street to connect with Broad Street (Route 7).

Eastbound I-66 will remain open throughout the work. In the zone where the closing will occur, workers are building large concrete structures between piers over the Interstate. These are going to support the new rail tracks that will lead from the Orange Line through Tysons Corner and out to Reston in the first stage of the Dulles Metrorail project, scheduled to be completed in 2013.

By Robert Thomson  | September 23, 2010; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Construction, Driving  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Dulles Metrorail  
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I came through the I-495/I-66 interchange around 1:00 AM Tuesday. At that time I-495 northbound was closed and traffic was detoured onto I-66. The detour diverted traffic west on I-66, off at the next exit, back down I-66 and back onto I-495. Traffic moved smoothly but the detour was poorly marked.

The actual detour signs are quite small and for most of the I-66 westbound section the detour isn't marked at all. The overhead signs on I-66 East direct I-495 northbound traffic into the right lane. Other signs correctly inform drivers that the right exit is closed. The left exit from I-66 westbound appears to be a proper deceleration lane until you actually reach the exit, where you suddenly realize you have to make a left turn to get onto I-495.

You have to be able to read the signs quickly, while also paying attention to the confused drivers around you. For out of area driver's the detour has got to be especially dangerous. I hope the state highway administration does a better job of marking the new detour.

Posted by: cooperda | September 23, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I wish I'd known. I stumbled on this closure last night around 11pm while driving from DC to Fairfax. What a nightmare. Note: this was ***before*** midnight!!!

Posted by: JillC | September 24, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

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