Tag Archives: I-66

Primary east-west interstate highway in Northern Virginia, linking I-81 with Washington, D.C. through Warren, Fauquier, Prince William, Fairfax and Arlington counties.

The Theodore Roosevelt Bridge was supposed to have scultpures

JOHN KELLY: Why is the Roosevelt Bridge missing its sculptures? – The Post
The Theodore Roosevelt Bridge which carries Interstate 66 and US 50 across the Potomac River between Arlington, Va. and Washington, D.C. was originally slated to have sculptures. Kelly explains why it never happened:

Mrs. Fraser’s design called for four plaques symbolizing Teddy Roosevelt’s character traits. They were called “Courage,” “Foresight,” “Leadership” and “Power” and were in a heroic, classical style: muscled, semi-naked warriors clutching swords, etc. The designs were approved by the Commission of Fine Arts in 1959, and Fraser’s scale plaster models were shipped to Washington some time after that. And then, a published source notes, “for some reason not fully apparent to her, they were placed in storage.”

The reason may have been that the designs were, well, kind of ugly. To Answer Man they look like toy action figures, oddly ill-proportioned. The minutes from the arts commission’s September 1963 meeting note that the head of the District’s highways and traffic department was leaning against executing Fraser’s design. The plaster maquettes were subsequently lost. Fraser died in 1966 with what she considered one of her greatest works never completed.

In 1985, there are an another attempt to come up with some appropriate sculptures but that also stalled.

I’d like to see some appropriate sculptures added to the bridge, but I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime, it would be great if they could paint it and get rid of all the rust. I’ll never be a beautiful bridge, but there is no reason it needs to be an ugly one.

Somehow, there is a Let Teddy Win angle to this…

Signs: Shields Up!

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Some I-66 widening in Arlington now funded

Funding Passed for Widening Of I-66The Post
One part of the I-66 widening inside the Capital Beltway (I-495) has been approved — extending the on-ramp from Fairfax Drive along the westbound lanes all the way to EXIT 69 Sycamore Street.

The move reversed a decision by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board last month to strip the $75 million project from the region’s transportation plan. Yesterday, the swing votes were cast by two Fairfax County supervisors, Catherine M. Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) and Linda Q. Smyth (D-Providence), who last month had voted against the project.

In exchange, the Virginia Department of Transportation assured the board that no further funding for the I-66 project beyond the first phase would be committed until several studies are completed. But, as some board members pointed out, that is not much of a concession, because the state does not have money to fund the other two phases of the project anyway.

They might as well not do anything until they extend that lane all the way to EXIT 67 Dulles Access/Toll Road. As for the transit alternatives that some Arlingtonians want there is one coming — the Silver Line. When I lived in Pentagon City, I have happily have taken Metro to Tysons everyday instead of driving.

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Inside the Beltway I-66 widening may not happen

Vote to Forgo I-66 Expansion Imperils Federal Funds, Increases IreThe Post
Bad news for a sensible widening project:

The I-66 project would connect a series of acceleration and deceleration lanes, effectively widening the westbound road from two to three lanes between Fairfax Drive and Sycamore Street and expanding it between Washington Boulevard and the Dulles Airport Access Road from three lanes to four.

That is exactly what I suggested they do four years ago, but it was voted down by Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Transportation Planning Board. Not surprisingly, Arlington members voted against it, but “the swing votes during Wednesday’s meeting turned out to be Fairfax County’s. Both of Fairfax’s representatives on the panel, county supervisors Catherine M. Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) and Linda Q. Smyth (D-Providence).” I do not understand why they cast the votes they did.

Arlington is rightfully proud of developing a well-zoned, pedestrian and transit oriented community that sets a standard for new urbanism. I loved living in Arlington for this reason. I do not believe I am alone in that situation. The “Arlington vs. the other suburbs” attitude has got to go — a lot of us would live in Arlington if it were more affordable.

I would have benefited from this widening as a pro-transit Arlington resident who “reverse commuted” by car from Pentagon City to Tysons everyday for five years. What makes this widening so desirable was that it would not need to remove any houses and would not detract from the transit. I could see the need to possibly detour a few sections of the Custis Trail, but it would not be significant. This would be a sensible project and I hope it is resurrected.

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I-95/395: bad news?; I-66: good news

I-95/395 Toll Lanes, Wider I-66 ApprovedThe Post
Two expansion projects have been approved for Northern Virginia highways:

  • express toll lanes on Interstates 95 and 395
     

    I am skeptical of HOT lanes and downright against leasing public roads to private companies, something Sun columnist Jay Hancock described as “transforming public utilities into private monopolies.” Looks like we’ll get to see whether my aversion to those two things is warranted.

  • widening westbound I-66 inside the Beltway

    As for the I-66 widening I think it is the right thing to do, provided that the Custis Trail is open throughout the process. Here is the plan:

    The I-66 project would connect a series of acceleration and deceleration lanes, widening the westbound roadway from two to three lanes between Fairfax Drive and Sycamore Street and expanding it between Washington Boulevard and the Dulles Airport Access Road from three lanes to four. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2010.

    That sounds a lot like my proposal from over two years ago:

    How about adding a lane between exits 67 and 71 in each direction, rather than all the way to/from Rosslyn? Experience from my daily commute on the road suggests that the backups occur in large part due to the lane drops after the Dulles Access Road and Fairfax Drive on-ramps. If VDOT just extended those merge lanes into travel lanes, there would be much less merging from those roads, which to my eyes is the root of most of the backups.

    Adding a lane from Rosslyn west does not eliminate the merge at Fairfax Drive and may even make it worse. Lastly, I think this has a better chance politically, since VDOT can probably show a lot of traffic that gets on at Fairfax Drive and gets off at Dulles Access Road and vice-versa.

    There is probably a reason VDOT wants to have the extra lane end at Sycamore St. My idea sounds better to me, but I’ll trust their professional judgment, but reserve the right to question the results.

    Interstate shields courtesy of Shields Up!

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  • Get on your bikes and ride! Vol. 2 – I-66 Custis Trail

    Following Interstate 66 in Arlington, the I-66 Custis Trail is a challenging course between East Falls Church and Rosslyn. Since I-66 is mostly built below street level, the trail has varying gradients to accommodate the bridges over the highway, with the trail tending to rise into the overpass. This easily creates the best short workout available along area trails, which can be good or bad, depending on why you ride. The westbound approach to Glebe Road is a nasty climb.

    While the trail is well landscaped, you may not care for the scenery if you not fond of highways (and for that matter commuter rail) and the noise that they bring. Still, it serves many Arlington neighborhoods and contributes to the mutlimodal nature of the corridor. Since trucks are prohibited on I-66, the aural sensation is mostly white noise (granted, loud white noise), unless a Metro train is passing through. Near the eastern terminus in Rosslyn, it connects to the Mount Vernon trail via the Rosslyn connector, while the western terminus is on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, linking it to the rest of the Northern Virginia trail network.

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    Observations XII: You are looking live

  • A lot of people hate — HATE Brent Musburger; I think Hunter S. Thompson wanted to strangle him with his bare hands, but never got around to it. That being said, I think I am immune from truly hating Musburger because his weekly announcement “YOU ARE LOOKING LIVE…” at the beginning of The NFL Today way back when. He should do that for college football as well.
  • I kind of like the “Life Will be There Tomorrow” song that Outback Steakhouse uses in their radio spots. I like it much more than the restaurant in fact.
  • Over the last month Snoop Dogg has been arrested at John Wayne and Bob Hope airports. If there is a Frank Sinatra Airport what are the odds he will get arrested there in November?
  • How is Firefox 2? Is there anything I should know before I make the switch?
  • Sheryl Crow‘s “Everday is a Winding Road” has been used in commercials for at least two different car companies. I guess her songs go through car companies like she goes through men.
  • Recent earworms: Eastbound and Down (Jerry Reed), Nobody Bothers Me (Jhoon Rhee), that Outback song
  • The trend towards making nicknames from the first syllable of two words is tiresome. Enough with MoCo (Montgomery County) WaPo (Washington Post) and half the new hip neighborhoods in New York and some of wannabes in D.C. NoVa and JoePa get to stay because they predate the birth of most of the people who use MoCo or NoMa. Stop trying so hard to be cool. Nearlington also has to go, though I don’t personally know anybody lame enough to use it. That one might have worked if Arlington was shaped in such a way that there was a clearly defined northeastern section of the county.
  • It turns out Geno’s Steaks, the Philly cheesesteak joint that made headlines for their English only policy, uses South American beef (The Inky). Pat’s King of Steaks on the opposite corner also uses “immigrant beef” sometimes. It appears that Jim’s, my personal favorite (though I have not been to Pat’s yet), uses “USDA choice top round western steer beef.” I assume that is the western U.S.
  • Erica and I have only been to Woo Lae Oak which recently suffered fire damage to the exterior, once. It was okay, but as someone once said, “it was awfully expensive for a place where you have to cook your own food.”
  • I am getting annoyed waiting for Blogger Beta to be available for people who use Blogger, but have their own hosts. I want categories. I hope it has a scheduler too. Then again, since this morning’s post was delayed by 3 hours by Blogger troubles, categories should be the least of my worries.
  • The first frost of the season in Pentagon City was Oct. 26
  • For several years I have enjoyed reading Southern chef Robert St. John’s column. It appears in one of “my” newspapers. St. John is now posting the columns on a blog, so you can read them too. If I am ever in Mississippi, I will go to one of his restaurants, even though Southern food has little appeal to me.
  • Big green guide signs with clearview font are starting to appear on I-66. I hate clearview font, bring back button copy FHWA Series E!
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