News and Views

VBT : Project Updates: “I-81, Exit 150” and “Transform 66 – Outside and Inside the Beltway”

We recently profiled the “I-95 Hot Lanes” project as an example of a successful transportation improvement as a result of the passage of HB 2313. Every day, updates are being made on other pivotal projects like this one throughout Virginia. Two additional projects currently under construction and headed toward successful completion are the “I-81, Exit 150” improvement and “Transforming 66 – Outside and Inside the Beltway.”

I-81, Exit 150 in Roanoke

The main benefit of this project is to enhance safety and traffic flow on Interstate 81. The “I-81, Exit 150” project will improve the existing intersection and corresponding northbound movements for I-81. It will also improve connections with routes 11, 220 and 220 Alternate to help improve the traffic flow. Construction began in summer of 2015 and is scheduled to conclude in 2018 for the estimated $46.75 million upgrade.

Elements of the project include:

• Creating a true Exit 150B off-ramp with northbound Route 220 to enhance traffic flow at the Route 11/220/220A intersection.
• Modifying Exit 150A for right turns onto Route 11 southbound to cut down on hazardous merges.
• Transposing the northbound Route 220 entrance ramp to I-81 to adjoin with the Exit 150B off-ramp.
• Improving entrances onto Route 11 as right-in/right-out only.
• Constructing a roundabout at the Exit 150B/Route 11 intersection to decrease congestion, enhance safety and increase volume.
• Connecting the new Route 11 roundabout to the Route 220 Alternate through a new road called Gateway Crossing.
• Improving business access on Route 11 with a raised median and decreased entrance points.

Transform 66 – Outside and Inside the Beltway in Northern Virginia

Outside the Beltway

The key positive impact for this project will be to move traffic in a faster and more reliable way for all drivers traveling Outside the Beltway. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 on this project to convert Northern Virginia’s Interstate 66 into a multimodal corridor to move traffic more efficiently. Two private bids to build and operate toll lanes on I-66 – Outside the Beltway meet Virginia’s terms and await VDOT’s approval.

The project scope includes:

• Expanding to three general-purpose lanes in each direction.
• Adding new mass transit services and park-and-ride lots.
• Adding two express lanes in each direction from I-495 (Capital Beltway) to Gainesville (University Boulevard).
• Improving the safety of traffic flow at crucial interchanges.

Inside the Beltway This transportation project will reduce congestion, improve travel-time reliability, improve road conditions and increase route choices for both single drivers and mass transit users traveling Inside the Beltway. The first major improvement project on this section of I-66 in15-20 years is the result of a comprehensive multi-year study completed in 2013. Portions of the project are ongoing and everything should be completed in early 2020.

The main components include:

• Widening of I-66 eastbound from the Dulles Connector Road to Ballston.
• Converting to dynamically-priced toll lanes during rush hours in the busiest directions for single drivers. HOV vehicles and buses will be able to travel these lanes at no cost.
• Using toll revenues to implement transportation demand management strategies such as carpooling.

The “I-81, Exit 150” improvement and “Transforming 66 – Outside and Inside the Beltway” projects are currently headed toward successful completion to help answer Virginia’s transportation. The benefits of these two projects like enhancing safety, improving traffic flow and improving road conditions are going a long way to move the Commonwealth forward.

For more information on these and other projects, visit 

back to News & Views