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Study seeks remedies, price tag for I-66 traffic

Tuesday - 5/24/2011, 4:33am  ET

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- How do you solve the traffic mess that is Interstate 66?

Transportation leaders from Virginia are joining the federal government in a new study to find a solution.

A letter sent from the Virginia Department of Transportation outlines the plan for the I-66 study, which will examine the highway from the Capital Beltway to Route 15 in Prince William County.

Improvements to the roadway and better public transportation, like extending Metrorail or a system of fast-moving buses, will be considered.

This is certainly not the first study concentrating on I-66, but transportation planners say it should help determine who is going to pay for any possible improvements down the line.

"That has to be part and parcel with the whole thing," Ron Kirby, director of transportation planning with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, tells WTOP. "You can't draw up this list of things you want and then worry how to pay for it later."

According to VDOT, this new study is different from more traditional studies because it will focus on "broad issues, such as purpose and need; general location of proposed improvements, and mode/technology choice."

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)