Northern Virginia Drivers Get a Break - NBC4 Washington

Northern Virginia Drivers Get a Break

HOV ramps on I-66 to be available off-hours



    Northern Virginia Drivers Get a Break
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    Good news for drivers who use Interstate 66 in northern Virginia.

    Gov. Bob McDonnell announced today that the HOV ramps in Fairfax County will be open to all traffic during non-HOV hours.

    Currently the I-66 ramps to Monument Drive and Stringfellow Road are open eastbound from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and westbound from 3:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.  The ramps are now closed during off-peak hours and weekends.

    The new rules take effect Feb. 28 at 10 a.m.

    New overhead digital message signs will alert drivers about which ramps are open, closed or HOV only.

    "Anyone who travels I-66 mid-day or weekends knows that congestion in this area is just as common outside of the traditional rush hours," McDonnell said.  "Now motorists will have easier access to shopping centers, office parks and residential areas near the two exit ramps."

    The Virginia Department of Transportation estimates that 5,800 vehicles will use the ramps once they're open.

    Officials said opening the ramps will improve travel times and air quality, provide alternate routes and help drivers avoid construction zones, and give buses and drivers direct access to the Stringfellow Road park-and-ride lot.