- This Ferrovial project represents the largest surface transportation public-private partnership to date in the United States.
Cintra-led I-66 Express Mobility Partners, design-build contractor FAM Construction (Ferrovial Construction and Allan Myers), the Virginia Department of Transportation and other state and local dignitaries celebrated the opening of the western section of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project in Virginia on Sept. 12.
The event, to which media and 100 guests and dignitaries attended, took place just outside the nation’s capital in one of two large Park & Ride lots built as part of this project. An unveiling of the “Ride 66 Express” lane opening sign and a VIP tour of the I-66 EMP facility followed the opening presentation.
Speaking on behalf of Cintra and the consortium, Cintra U.S. President Alberto Gonzalez referred to the $3.7 billion multi-modal project as a world class model for the rest of the country.
“This is truly the result of a world class partnership. We see this as the finest example of how a public and private partnership can successfully take a massive infrastructure idea and make it reality in a short period of time. We would not be here today without the visionary leadership of so many state and local officials, the extraordinary team at VDOT and many community leaders – you made this matching the project at reality.”
Other speakers included Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sheppard Miller, VDOT Commissioner Stephen Brich, Prince William County Chair Ann Wheeler and Fairfax County Chairman Jeff McKay.
Speakers attributed the successful and early opening of this initial 9-mile segment of the express lanes to the ongoing collaboration between the public and private sectors during the past five years of construction, all amidst the background of a global pandemic, materials shortages and logistical challenges.
“We are celebrating a major accomplishment and milestone that will provide real benefits to those travelers on I 66,” VDOT Commissioner Brich said. He also commented that this 9-mile stretch of new express lanes opened ahead of schedule.
- This project includes an additional direct private investment of $579 million dollars for other priority multi-modal projects across the region. These multimodal initiatives include projects like the City of Fairfax and the Town of Vienna mixed-use trails, Virginia Rail Express (VRE) Manassas line improvements and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission bus and maintenance facility. An additional $800 million commitment is also being made over the life of the project for transit and transit operational improvements along the I-66 corridor by 2066.
- Transform 66 Outside the Beltway will feature Cintra’s AIVIA Smart Roads Initiative. This infrastructure-to-vehicle system represents the collaboration of leading transportation and technology companies. The initiative facilitates communication between antennas and sensors installed on the physical roadway with autonomous and connected vehicles. The result – seamless interaction between autonomous, connected, and conventional vehicles improving safety and efficiency of travel.
- The project has put more than 400 local and regional companies and disadvantaged business enterprises to work.
- More than 13 million workhours to date on the project.
The 9-mile segment in the western-most region now open extends from Route 29 in Gainesville to Route 28 in Centreville. The new lanes have been initially opened to all traffic toll-free so motorists can benefit from the additional capacity, become familiar with the new express lanes and access points, and open an E-ZPass account if needed. Tolling on the new section of the 66 Express Lanes will begin by the end of September.
The final phases and remaining 13 miles of express lanes from Route 28 to Route 495 are anticipated to open by the end of December.