Late night drivers around Tysons may experience some detours this weekend and next week if they travel around the interchange connecting I-66 and I-495 near Merrifield.
“Overnight lane closures and traffic stoppages are planned on I-66 West approaching Gallows Road during overnight hours Friday, September 11; Saturday, September 12; and Monday, September 14, through Wednesday, September 16, as bridge beam installation continues for the new Gallows Road Bridge over I-66,” VDOT said in a press release. “Bridge beam lifts over I-66 West will require nightly traffic stoppages of up to 20 minutes on I-66 West. Work is part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project.”
Gallows Road over I-66 will also be reduced to a single lane in each direction overnight Friday-Tuesday.
The Gallows Road bridge is being lengthened, widened, raised, and shifted to the east to accommodate the new express lanes and provide room for future improvements along Gallows Road, according to VDOT.
“Drivers should expect delays if traveling in this area and are encouraged to use alternate routes,” VDOT said.
Former Governor Eyeing Run for Seat — “Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe filed paperwork with the State Board of Elections Thursday to seek the governorship in 2021 but has not made a decision yet whether he will actually run for office. In the paperwork, McAuliffe listed himself as a Democratic candidate for governor.” [Patch]
Unemployment Update — “After two successive weeks of significant drops, initial claims for unemployment benefits increased slightly in Northern Virginia last week.” [Inside NoVa]
Traffic Alert for Gallows Road Over I-66 — “Installation of bridge beams for the new Gallows Road Bridge over I-66 will require reducing Gallows Road over I-66 to one travel lane in each direction from 11 a.m. Saturday, August 22, through 8 a.m. Monday, August 24.” [Virginia Department of Transportation]
Lender Could Seize Vienna Hotel — “A portfolio of 48 hotels nationwide, including one in Vienna and several others in Virginia and Maryland, could be seized in a $780 million foreclosure lawsuit.” [Washington Business Journal]
Unemployment Benefits Bump? — “Virginia is applying for federal funds made available by President Donald Trump to supplement state unemployment benefits by $300 a week, Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration said Wednesday.” [Inside NoVa]
Photo by Michelle Goldchain
A multi-vehicle crash along eastbound I-66 right before I-495 is causing major traffic for several miles.
“The East left lane, center lane and right lane are closed,” according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Drivers can expect delays for two miles, according to a Fairfax County alert sent out at 4 p.m.
Update: Crash: EB on I-66 at MM64.1 (0.3mi west of I-495S Exit64A) in Fairfax Co. All EB travel lanes closed. 3:52PM
— 511 Northern VA (@511northernva) July 20, 2020
Image via VDOT, map via Google Maps
Hot Today Ahead — A Heat Advisory will be in effect from noon to 8 p.m. today (Monday). [National Weather Service]
New Ramp in Vienna Area — “Motorists driving on northbound Nutley Street in the Vienna area this week will begin using a new temporary ramp and traffic signal to reach westbound Interstate 66, as construction of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project continues, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) said.” [Inside NoVa]
Business Survey — “The City’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) is reaching out to small businesses to help with the challenges of the pandemic. The EDA opened a quick five question survey to gauge interest in providing supplies to support the safe reopening of businesses.” [City of Falls Church, survey]
Work on a new ramp linking eastbound I-66 to the West Falls Church Metro station is expected to start today (Monday).
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) said in a press release that the work, which is a part of the I-66 Eastbound Widening Project, will connect two existing ramps.
“This direct access will save time for motorists on I-66 East who are headed to the West Falls Church Metrorail station and reduce traffic on Route 7,” Mark Gibney, VDOT’s design-build project manager, said in the press release.
More from VDOT:
When the project is complete, drivers will exit I-66 East for Route 7, stay left to connect to the ramp from Route 7 East to I-66 East, then stay right to reach Falls Church Drive and the West Falls Church Metrorail station.
All improvements will be performed within existing VDOT right-of-way.
Construction activities will begin with shoulder strengthening on the left side of I-66 East approaching the Route 7 interchange and along the left side of the Route 7 East ramp to I-66 East so traffic can be shifted to the left.
The two existing ramps will remain open during construction, although traffic shifts and occasional overnight traffic stoppages will be required. Construction will occur during daytime and nighttime hours.
VDOT expects the new ramp to open later this year.
Map via Google Maps
Commuters can expect delays today at the I-495 and I-66 interchange following a tractor-trailer crash early this morning.
The tractor-trailer overturned on I-66, spilling metal debris onto the ramp from northbound I-495 to I-66, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. The debris punctured another truck, causing a hazmat situation and closures around 4 a.m., VDOT said.
While the ramp from northbound I-495 to I-66 has reopened, VDOT said that commuters this morning will be impacted.
As of 9:10 a.m., drivers can expect delays eastbound on I-66 and two-mile-long backups near I-495, according to VDOT.
“The ramp from I-66 East to I-495 North is partially blocked,” VDOT said. “The ramp from I-495 North to I-66 West is partially blocked.”
Meanwhile, drivers heading north on I-495 can expect traffic congestion and backups stretching about two miles.
Update: 66EB ramp to 495NB is now partially opened. https://t.co/LEe1Ev7XI9
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) March 11, 2020
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) March 11, 2020
Map via Google Maps
Major work underway to revamp I-66 underway may soon extend to a bridge and road on the border of Vienna.
Plans to demolish and rebuild Cedar Lane’s bridge over I-66 and the Metro tracks are a part of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s multi-year Transform 66 project.
Susan Shaw, VDOT, and Nancy Smith with FAM provided the Town Council an update on the bridge project last night (Monday).
While nothing has been finalized yet, the bridge will likely get demolished and rebuilt this summer to take advantage of the Orange Line Metro shutdown, they said.
“We’re still having this dialogue so a final decision isn’t made,” Shaw said.
Currently, the lack of a right-hand shoulder on I-66 is creating safety concerns, Smith said.
VDOT is currently looking at move forward with single-phase construction, which would last for six months, Smith told the council, adding that three-phase construction that would last at least 28 months is also an option.
“It would allow us to take full advantage of WMATA’s shutdown,” she said, adding that the goal is to demolish and rebuild the bridge as quickly as possible.
The single-phase construction would require a detour for drivers and pedestrians for the entire six months, Smith said, noting that this option would have fewer impacts on I-66.
Smith said that an analysis of a six-month closure of the bridge found that two-thirds of the traffic on is cut-through traffic between the City of Fairfax and Tysons, while one-third of the traffic is local.
Smith said that a different detour would be in place for the roughly 40 pedestrians and 20 bicyclists who currently use the bridge every day.
Smith said that the two Fairfax Connector routes that use the bridge would need to be rerouted for a six-month closure.
The bridge is just one of several projects in the area, including:
- work on new Vaden Drive bridge
- construction of new Gallows Road bridge
- work on pedestrian and shared-use path along Nutley Street
“Obviously, Cedar Lane construction won’t happen in a vacuum,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of other construction happening on the corridor simultaneously.”
Work is set to start on the Cedar Lane Bridge in May, Smith said. The new bridge would aim to open by mid-November.
Once the bridge is closed for construction, Smith said that commuters can expect congestion to increase.
People interested in learning more about the single-phase construction can expect a meeting at Thoreau Middle School in late March, Smith said.
Image (1) via Google Maps, image (2) and maps via Town of Vienna
The new trails underway along I-66 now have a name: the “66 Parallel Trail.”
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the name on Tuesday (Nov. 20) for the trails that will be added by the county and the Transform 66 Express Lanes Project.
In addition to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) creating 22.5 miles of express lanes from I-495 to Prince William County, people can expect 11 miles of new pedestrian and bike trails in Fairfax County.
“Trail segments that cannot be accommodated within the highway right-of-way are to be funded by Fairfax County and constructed as part of VDOT’s locally administered projects,” according to county documents.
The county’s Department of Transportation (FCDOT) gathered name suggestions and held two public meetings in the spring. After 1,124 respondents took an online survey with name options, FCDOT staff recommended the “66 Parallel Trail” to the county board.
The names in the survey included:
- Sixty-Six or 66 Parallel
- Sixty-Six or 66 Ramble
- Capital Gateway
- Dogwood Trail
- East-West Gateway
- Heart of Fairfax Trail
- Kaleidoscope Trail
- Mid-County Trail
Braddock District Supervisor John Cook jokingly said that he wanted the name to be the “Smyth, Cook, Herrity and Smith Trail” — after the last names of the supervisors whose districts are affected by the name change.
Chairman Sharon Bulova said that “66 Ramble” was her favorite.
Images via VDOT
The bridge, which is near the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station, will be closed for about 10 months starting at 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 18.
The closure is apart of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s multi-year Transform 66 project.
“The previously announced bridge closure is expected to cut in half — from 24 months to 12 months — the time needed to demolish the existing bridge and construct a new one,” according to an update yesterday from VDOT. “This shortened schedule will help reduce construction impacts on adjacent communities and roadway users.”
A new bridge is getting built to accommodate more cars and the I-66 widening. People can keep a lookout for the construction to start on the new bridge in November, with an anticipated opening next September.
While the bridge is closed, drivers will be detoured to Nutley Street to get to I-66. Pedestrians will be detoured to the pedestrian bridge at the Metro station.
Demolition of the bridge is expected to be finished by early December, according to VDOT.
Crews will also work on the intersection of Saintsbury Drive and Nutley Street while the detour is in place.
The parking garages at the Metro station will remain open.
Image via Google Maps
Some attendees at a meeting about a multi-year road project that recently kicked off in the Vienna area said they are worried about traffic impacts.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is currently working on its Transform 66 project, which includes construction near the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station.
Rich Clifton, the project’s design engineer from FAM Consulting LLC, provided attendees with a construction update at a meeting yesterday (Sept. 4) at the Providence Community Center. Every seat was filled for the presentation at 7 p.m., with dozens of people standing in the back.
Starting today (Sept. 5), the ramp from Saintsbury Drive to eastbound I-66 will be permanently closed.
The ramp will temporarily reopen for buses during the weekday from October 2019 to September 2020 while another road construction project is underway. Clifton strongly urged non-bus drivers to stay off of the ramp.
“The ramp can’t handle the volume of traffic if it was open to the general public,” Clifton. “There are 19 bus routes that go over Vaden.”
Along I-66, the barrier between the collector-distributor (CD) road and eastbound I-66 will be removed and access to I-66 from the CD road and Nutley Street will shift east of Vaden Drive.
On westbound I-66, the lanes will shift, along with the CD road. Clifton said that the exit ramp to Country Creek Drive will remain open.
Starting in October, the bridge at Vaden Drive will close for demolition and construction of a new bridge — a process that will take about a year, Clifton said.
“We’ll try to stay out of Nutley while we work on Vaden bridge,” Clifton said.
While the bridge is closed, drivers will have 2-mile-long detours to follow. A modification of traffic flow at the Nutley Street intersection and Saintsbury Drive will accommodate the detour, Clifton said.
Some attendees at the meeting said that they expect drivers to head west instead of following the detour, possibly clogging up local roads. Clifton said that posted signs about the detours are meant to encourage drivers to take detour routes, but that there is no guarantee that drivers won’t come up with their own directions.
For pedestrians, a shorter detour will allow them to use the bridge at the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station, which will stay open all day and night. Clifton said that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will be able to close off the station, while keeping the gates open for the bridge.
In about six months, work will start on Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) to relocate utilities and to construct bridges, ramps and new box culverts for a future path.
A temporary traffic pattern change will allow for the construction of new ramps:
- westbound I-66 and northbound Route 123
- westbound I-66 and southbound Route 123
- eastbound I-66 and northbound Route 123
- southbound Route 123 and eastbound I-66
There will also be four new traffic signals in that area.
Once all of that work is finished, construction will start on the Nutley Street and I-66 interchange.
While a diverging diamond design was proposed a few years ago, Clifton said that the interchange will instead have a double roundabout.
That work is slated to finish up in the early part of 2022.
After several questions about traffic for each portion of the project, Clifton told attendees to check out the traffic impacts online.
Maps via VDOT