Delegate Mark Keam - Virginia's 35th House District

Delegate Keam joins Federal, State and Local Officials to Open I-66 Ramp


  This afternoon, Delegate Mark Keam joined Congressman Gerry Connolly, Congressman Frank Wolf, Governor McDonnell, Delegate Tim Hugo, Delegate Jim LeMunyon, Delegate Barbara Comstock, Fairfax County Board Chairwoman Sharon Bulova, County Supervisor Mike Frey and County Supervisor Pat Herrity in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the westbound exits off the I-66 at Monument Drive and Stringfellow Road.  The Monument Drive exit is located in the 35th House District represented by Delegate Keam. Here are press releases from the County Board Chair, the Governor and U.S. Representative announcing the details of the new service for commuters:

Chairman Bulova Cuts Ribbon on I-66 HOV Ramps

February 28, 2011 - Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova today joined Gov. Bob McDonnell in cutting the ribbon on the I-66 HOV lanes at Monument Drive and Stringfellow Road. The ramps will now be open during off-peak hours to ease traffic congestion on I-66, which extends past rush hour and into the weekends.  "The opening of the HOV ramps will immediately ease the burden on Fairfax County commuters outside of rush hour," Chairman Bulova said. "This may seem like a small change to some, but it will add capacity to one of Fairfax County's most congested highways and clear the way for more than 8,000 cars every day," Chairman Bulova said.  Chairman Bulova at a June 2010 Board meeting directed County transportation staff to dislodge the initiative, which had been stalled pending the compilation and submission to the Federal Highway Administration of an Interchange Modification Report assessing the impact of the change. The project began in 2007, but only came to fruition after County staff got involved last summer.  "I applaud the expeditious work of our County transportation staff to get this project off the shelf and completed," she said. "Without their efforts, we would not be here today." Chairman Bulova pointed out that while opening the ramps will not solve all the traffic problems on I-66, it will ease congestion along that route as well as US-50, the Fairfax County Parkway, and Route 28. Opening these ramps during off-peak hours will also give motorists another way to avoid the construction happening as VDOT adds a new interchange where the Fairfax County Parkway and the Fair Lakes Parkway intersect, she said.

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 For Immediate Release: February 28, 2011

Contact: Jeff Caldwell, Press Secretary, (804) 786-2211

I-66 West HOV Ramps Now Open Off-Peak and Weekends

 — Low-cost solution improves commutes for thousands of motorists —

RICHMOND — Governor Bob McDonnell was on hand today at the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) traffic operations center in Fairfax for the first day that the I-66 exit ramps to Monument Drive and Stringfellow Road were opened to all westbound traffic. The ramps opened westbound at 10 a.m. and will now be open to all traffic - HOV as well as non-HOV - on weekends and during off-peak hours. "Opening these ramps is a low-cost solution to improve commute times for thousands of congestion-weary commuters in Fairfax County," said Governor McDonnell. "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. Now motorists will have easier access to shopping centers, office parks and residential areas near the two exit ramps." Previously, the Monument Drive and Stringfellow Road ramps were open only to HOV-2 traffic eastbound from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and westbound from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  The ramps were closed to traffic during off-peak hours and weekends. Now the ramps will be open to all traffic except during HOV-2 hours weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. eastbound, and weekdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. westbound. The ramps will be closed from 5 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on weekdays for the directional switch. At all other times and throughout the weekend, the ramps will be open westbound to all traffic. New overhead digital message signs will alert drivers when the exit ramps are open, closed or HOV-only. Traffic signs and signals at the top of the exit ramps have been upgraded and traffic signals near the interchanges were retimed to accommodate traffic. Opening the ramps to all traffic during non-HOV hours is expected to improve travel times and air quality, provide alternate routes for motorists avoiding the construction work zone at Fairfax County Parkway and Fair Lakes where VDOT is building an interchange through 2013, and give buses and motorists direct access to the Stringfellow Road park-and-ride lot. VDOT traffic engineers project that up to 5,800 vehicles a day will use the Stringfellow Road ramp and 2,400 vehicles a day will use the Monument Drive ramp. The final cost to open the ramps, including the new signs and installation was about $200,000. "I want to recognize Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez for his leadership and personal involvement in opening these ramps," said Governor McDonnell.  "He played a critical role in advancing this important project for Northern Virginia." VDOT worked closely with Mendez and many elected officials from the area to advance this concept through the necessary environmental and regulatory approvals.

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Congressman Gerry Connolly

11th District, Virginia | 424 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515 | (202) 225-1492 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 28, 2011 CONTACT: George Burke — 202-225-1492/ 202-503-7756, George.burke@mail.house.gov

I-66 Ramps at Monument Dr & Stringfellow Rd Now Open to non-HOV Drivers

Rep Connolly Worked with FHWA & DOT to Open the Ramps Off-Peak to Reduce Congestion

FAIRFAX — Congressman Gerry Connolly joined Governor Bob McDonnell, Congressman Frank Wolf, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton, and a host of other state and local elected officials Monday for a ceremony to mark the opening of the westbound ramps off I-66 at Monument Drive and Stringfellow Road to off-peak hours. Joking that "Success has many fathers… and mothers," Connolly cited the work of many officials, beginning in 2007 in the effort to open the HOV ramps on I-66 to all traffic during non-rush hour periods.  Connolly started his efforts to open the ramps in 2007 when he was Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors with the support of the entire board and the congressional delegation.  At that time, the Bush administration denied the request.  In May 2010, now-Congressman Connolly wrote to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood again urging federal officials to approve the opening of the two HOV ramps to all drivers during non-rush hour periods as a means of reducing congestion on the highway.  One month later, in June, the Fairfax board approved a board matter introduced by Chairman Bulova.  In August, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Menendez responded to Connolly in a letter informing him that the U.S. DOT supported the move and was complying with his request. "This will have a tangible and positive impact on traffic flow for drivers on westbound I-66 in Fairfax, Prince William, and beyond," Connolly said.  "Federal, state, and local officials need to continue to work together to look for every opportunity to reduce congestion in Northern Virginia." The event was held at the McConnell Public Safety Transportation Operations Center in Fairfax.

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