Input on Virginia corridor sought

A RFI is out for what could be Virginia's thirteenth P3, involving Interstate 66.

For its latest transportation project, involving a “highly congested” interstate route, Virginia is keeping an open mind.

‘Old Dominion’ published a request for information (RFI) to “transform” Interstate 66 (I-66) into a corridor capable of “moving traffic and people more efficiently”.

To accomplish that, Virginia is willing to undertake a “multimodal” revamp of I-66, “possibly through the Public Private Transportation Act [of 1995],” according to the RFI.

Governor Bob McDonnell kicked off the project, which could be the thirteenth P3 for Virginia, with a press announcement last week. The Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships (OTP3) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are coordinating procurement.

The RFI is interested in “private sector input” in “developing and financing” a 25-mile section of I-66 from US Route 15 (US 15) to Interstate 495 (I-495).

The project would “add additional capacity to the road,” offer “multimodal” transportation, as well as incorporate tolling “similar to the I-495 Express Lanes,” the RFI said. The ‘I-495 Express Lanes’ is a $1.9 billion toll road P3 opened to traffic last fall.

Virginia in assessing I-66 is considering widening the route with no tolling, as well as locating rapid bus transit in the median of the road. The state is also considering converting the “existing high occupancy vehicle lane into either a one or two lane facility”.

In addition, the RFI is open to light rail transit (LRT), according to the document.

The deadline to respond to the RFI, which will “help the commonwealth to make the best decision on how to advance the project,” is November 25.