I-66 Outside the Beltway Express Lanes Project Under Way

Gov. Terry McAuliffe and representatives of the private partners that have committed nearly $579 million to the project participated in the groundbreaking this month in Centreville, Va.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe joined representatives of the Virginia Department of Transportation and Department of Rail and Public Transportation; federal, state, and local partners; and from I-66 Express Mobility Partners at a groundbreaking this month in Centreville, Va., for the I-66 Outside the Beltway Express Lanes Project, a major project to ease congestion in a busy corridor just west of Washington, D.C. McAuliffe announced the construction will be funded completely by the private consortium building the project and that the group has provided nearly $579 million for additional improvements in the corridor.

"Using taxpayer resources wisely to reduce gridlock in Northern Virginia and across the Commonwealth has been a top priority of this administration," he said. "The project we are beginning today will increase the capacity of I-66 and give commuters more options for how to get to work, with zero taxpayer investment and a commitment of nearly $579 million from our private partners for even more traffic-reducing projects. This project will reduce congestion, stimulate economic growth, and improve the quality of life of commuters all over the Northern Virginia region. It will also create hundreds of jobs for Virginians, with the goal of 75 percent of new project hires being local residents and veterans. I want to thank the men and women at the federal, state, and local levels who worked hard to make this transformational public-private partnership a reality."

The project will modify nearly 23 miles of Interstate 66, providing two express lanes in each direction next to three regular lanes from I-495 to University Boulevard near Route 29 in Gainesville, Va.

"Governor McAuliffe charged me to find ways to unlock gridlock on I-66, and there is no better example of how we are doing that than the I-66 Outside the Beltway Project," said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne. "The multimodal improvements that will be built along I-66 were made possible by years of hard work and planning, significant public input that helped shape the project, and a collaborative partnership with the private sector. We are eager to officially kick off construction and start delivering tangible solutions that will benefit all travelers on I-66."

A 50-year partnership agreement calls for I-66 EMP to assume responsibility for all costs to design, build, operate, and maintain the express lanes. The state said the agreement requires zero public investment and requires EMP to pay $800 million for transit service in the corridor and $350 million in other projects to improve the I-66 corridor during the next 50 years, and the project's financial close was reached on Nov. 9, securing the funding needed to move forward.

"Today marks the beginning of the transformation that will take place on I-66 Outside the beltway over the next several years," said Javier Gutierrez, chief executive officer for I-66 EMP. "When completed in 2022, we will be moving more people and offering more travel options on a safer and more efficient highway, and this will directly contribute to enhanced quality of life for people on this vital transportation corridor."

I-66 EMP is a consortium of Cintra, Meridiam Infrastructure, John Laing Group Plc. and APG, and their design-build contractor, FAM Construction, LLC, which is a partnership between Ferrovial Agroman US and Allan Myers, VA.