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.

Widening I-66 between exits 67 and 71

Bi-partisan legislators want to widen I-66 between exits 67 and 71

VIRGINIA I-66Finally! After a lot of the talk about putting tolls on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway, a group of bipartisan elected official are proposing what I’ve wanted for that corridor for years.

Northern Virginia legislators say widen I-66, don’t toll itThe Post

State Sens. Chap Petersen (D), Jill Vogel (R), Richard Black (R), Jennifer Wexton (D), Jeremy McPike (D), along with Dels. Michael Webert (R) and David Bulova (D) all signed the letter, which was released Wednesday. The group represent communities outside of the Beltway.

In the letter they say the state should widen I-66 inside the Beltway where it meets up the Dulles Toll Road. That section of roadway is a huge choke point for Northern Virginia commuters. Their request would modify the McAuliffe administration’s current proposal to begin tolling I-66 inside the Beltway instead of widening it.

The group says that according to estimates by the Virginia Department of Transportation, it would cost $122 million to widen a four-mile section from Mile 67 (West Falls Church) to Mile 71 (Ballston).

Back in 2005, I suggested the same. I was commuting from Pentagon City to Tysons daily (2001 – 2007) and then from Ballston to Tysons (2010 – 2013), using that four mile stretch they propose to widen.

Traffic study shows why I-66 is a messThe Post

This article notes that the biggest choke point is the section is between exists 67 and 71. My anecdotal observations suggest that a number of cars, probably statistically significant only use that portion of I-66. Not having to change lanes the whole way would help all traffic flow smoother. Put up some helpful overhead signs and I think the situation can be improved without great expense or expanding the roadway’s footprint significantly or at all.

It just makes a lot of sense, much more than a money grab that tolls would be. Making the widening happen, along with the growing Silver Line should provide some relief for the corridor and prepare it growth on other end of it.

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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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