Joan Morris 703-259-1799
Jennifer McCord 703-259-1779
June 24, 2010
I-66 WIDENING NEARS COMPLETION, ROUTE 29 GAINESVILLE MAKEOVER BEGINS
Gainesville improvements total $435 million
CHANTILLY — Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton today announced that the final section of widening Interstate 66 to eight lanes from Manassas to Gainesville will open by July 10, and that a major makeover of traffic-clogged Route 29 in Gainesville is officially under way.
“Commuters can finally enjoy four lanes in each direction west of Manassas, and there’s more good news to come,” said Secretary Connaughton. “The Route 29 and Linton Hall Road project will eliminate the at-grade railroad crossings in Gainesville. No longer will motorists come to a complete standstill when a freight train rolls through Gainesville at rush hour, only to crawl from traffic signal to traffic signal through this heavily congested commuter corridor.”
I-66, now eight lanes.
About the I-66 Widening Project
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has added two new lanes in each direction, one high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane and one regular lane, on I-66 from Manassas to Gainesville, and built new ramps at I-66 and Route 29. Construction on the $103 million, 2.5-mile widening began in 2006 and is being completed on time and on budget.
VDOT will open the final stretch of pavement—two eastbound lanes at Route 29—to motorists by July 10.
About the Route 29 and Linton Hall Road Project
The centerpiece of this $267 million project is a pair of overpasses: one carrying Route 29 over the Norfolk Southern Railroad, and one carrying Linton Hall and Gallerher roads over the railroad tracks and Route 29.
To further improve traffic flow, crews will also widen Route 29 to six lanes and eliminate driveway entrances and two traffic signals between I-66 and Virginia Oaks Drive.
In preparation for the construction, VDOT acquired property, demolished 38 buildings and relocated dozens of utilities over the past three years.
The Route 29/Linton Hall interchange in late 2014.
The first phase of construction, which is now under way, includes building two temporary detour roads—one on Route 29, the other on Linton Hall Road—as well as constructing several new access roads and storm water management ponds. There will be minimal traffic impacts during construction of the detour roads, which will take two years to complete.
Once the detour roads open to traffic in mid-2012, construction will begin on the new interchanges and widening Route 29 to six lanes. The entire project opens to traffic in December 2014.
Over the last several years, VDOT has made a series of major improvements in the Gainesville area:
- First was the construction of University Boulevard, a 1.3-mile, four-lane road connecting Route 29 and Wellington Road which opened in 2006 at a cost of $18 million.
- Second was widening 3.3 miles of I-66 to eight lanes from Route 234 Business/Sudley Road to the Route 234 Bypass. Construction was completed in 2006 and the cost was $46 million.
- Third was widening 2.5 miles of I-66 to eight lanes from the Route 234 Bypass to Route 29 at Gainesville at a cost of $103 million.
- Fourth is the Route 29 and Linton Hall Road overhaul, at a cost of about $267 million. The Commonwealth’s investment in all four projects totals $435 million.
According to 2008 traffic counts, I-66 carries 82,000 vehicles a day between Route 29 and the Route 234 Bypass, and will carry more than 175,000 vehicles a day by 2028. Route 29 carries roughly 57,000 vehicles a day through Gainesville and that is expected to increase to 87,000 by 2035.
During construction, VDOT pledges to keep motorists, businesses and the community informed well in advance of any construction-related delays. For more information, and to view an animation of the future Route 29/Linton Hall Road interchange, visit www.gainesvilleimprovements.org.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.