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Contract awarded for spot improvements on I-66

Rosalind Helderman

The Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded a $10.2 million contract to make spot improvements on a 1.9-mile section of westbound I-66 between the Fairfax Drive ramp and Sycamore Street.

The project will create a continous auxiliary lane between the two ramps, with a new 12-foot wide shoulder for emergencies. The project is designed to end bottlenecks on the section of the perpetually clogged highway, inside the Capital Beltway. But because it is fairly nondisruptive--current sounds walls won't be disturbed, for instance--these improvements have been fairly noncontroversial.

Still, the contract was tied up in litigation and could only recently be awarded, according to a release from the office Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). McDonnell said the project, slated to begin late this summer, is a first step to solving I-66's notorious congestion.

"This is an important step forward in improving traffic congestion on I-66 inside the Beltway. In addition, the project will improve travelers' safety along one of Northern Virginia's major chokepoints. Not only will these improvements make daily commuting easier and significantly safer, but the eventual completion of all three phases of these spot improvements will provide additional emergency evacuation capability if there were a major natural disaster or terrorism event that would require the evacuation of Washington D.C.," he said in the statement.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 19, 2010; 5:02 PM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Transportation  
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