First section of the New 66 Parallel Trail Officially Opened

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Photos by Mark Gilvey

In another milestone for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) multi-modal Transform 66 Outside the Beltway initiative, the first section of the new 66 Parallel Trail officially opened to the public at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held today at the Vienna-Fairfax/GMU Metrorail Station, adjacent to the new trail.

The 66 Parallel Trail is being funded by the Commonwealth’s private partner, I-66 Express Mobility Partners (EMP), the operator of the 66 Express Outside the Beltway, as part of the Transform 66 initiative. The trail was constructed by design-build contractor FAM Construction, LLC, a joint venture of Ferrovial Construction and Allan Myers, VA.

The shared-use trail’s first open section connects Cedar Lane with Chain Bridge Road (Rt. 123), allowing easy pedestrian and bicycle access between Vienna and Oakton. Full completion of the 66 Parallel Trail is expected in the summer of 2023, when it will run more than 11 miles from Gallows Road in Dunn Loring to a point just west of Rt. 28 in Centreville. The remaining sections will open in stages as construction is completed.

Officials from VDOT, I-66 EMP, Fairfax County, and the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB) were on hand to witness the official opening of the shared-use hiking and biking path. Attendees also took part in an inaugural bicycle ride and walk on the new section of trail between the Vienna-Fairfax/GMU Metrorail Station and the Cedar Lane bridge.

“Ever since Express Mobility Partners was awarded the contract with the Commonwealth to transform I-66 Outside the Beltway, our mission – and our 3.7-billion-dollar private investment – has been to make the I-66 corridor a more accessible and reliable travel option for everyone,” said Steve Hankins, chief information officer for I-66 EMP, in a speech to attendees at the official opening. “Today’s opening of the first section of this shared-use bicycle and pedestrian path does exactly that!”

As part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project, 18 miles of new sidewalk and trail are being added along and near I-66, providing new ways for bicyclists and pedestrians to move along the I-66 corridor. The new shared-use path, which runs parallel to I-66 from Dunn Loring to Centreville, forms the central part of the 66 Parallel Trail in Fairfax County and is an important piece of transforming I-66 into a multi-modal corridor.

“We’ve often said that the Transform 66 Project is about much more than keeping cars and trucks moving. It’s about keeping people moving,” said Luis Vazquez, I-66 EMP’s chief executive officer. “The 66 Parallel Trail is a unique component of our multi-modal transportation project and is a great representation of the transformative infrastructure now available to travelers all along the I-66 corridor.”

About the 66 Express Lanes Outside the Beltway:
Part of VDOT’s Transform 66 Outside the Beltway program, the 66 Express Lanes are a transformative 22.5-mile multi-modal mega-project featuring advanced dynamic-tolling systems to keep traffic flowing at all times. The lanes provide Northern Virginia commuters, businesses, and mass transit with a reliable option to move people, goods, and services throughout the I-66 corridor, allowing drivers to Sit Less, Live More. Visit www.Ride66Express.com to learn more, and keep up with the 66 Express Lanes on Facebook and Twitter.

About I-66 Express Mobility Partners:
I-66 Express Mobility Partners (EMP) is a consortium of leading infrastructure companies including Cintra, Meridiam, and APG. In public-private partnership (P3) with the VDOT, I-66 EMP is contracted to operate the 66 Express Lanes Outside the Beltway through 2066. Connect with I-66 EMP on LinkedIn.

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