The new VDOT 1-66 / Route 15 Interchange Construction Project in Haymarket
Just as we’re nearing completion of the I-66 and Linton Hall Road Interchange Project, a new one is underway in Haymarket. The I-66 and Route 15 Interchange Construction Project has begun and it isn’t scheduled for completion until the fall of 2017. The purpose of this project is to relieve congestion, enhance public safety, operations and capacity, and accommodate forecasted traffic demand in the area.
Okay, so we’ll have to endure more construction, but what exactly will it achieve when it’s done? If you attended the “pardon our dust” meeting in August, or have visited the VDOT website, you probably have an idea of what the end result will be. However, for those of you who aren’t completely in the know, let me share a little bit more about it, as this affects all of us on a regular basis.
Over the past several years, we all know there have been problems during peak commuter times getting on and off I-66, resulting in backups that not only caused headaches but presented safety concerns. The new interchange will be reconstructed as a Diverging-Diamond Interchange (DDI)—an innovative design that has proven effective in several locations across the country including three in Virginia. Diverging-diamond interchanges shift vehicles to the opposite side of the road and eliminate left turns that cross into oncoming traffic. Traffic signals at each end of the interchange feature only two phases, reducing “red light” time for motorists, which enhances mobility.
As you can see in the diagram below (which is for illustrative purposes only), motorists getting on or off I-66 from any direction will not have to cross oncoming traffic. The traffic lights occur at the lane shift. I would anticipate that during peak rush hours there will still be backup at the lights, however the traffic should be managed better with less risk of collision.
Additional improvements will include improvements to the ramps and to nearby sections of Route 15, as well as a 10-foot-wide shared use path for pedestrians and bicyclists.
So, while we have a few more years of construction and headaches, the end result will hopefully be well worth the wait. Visit The VDOT website for more information.
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