AARoads State Series
Guide Updates
On The Road Blog
AARoads Discussion Board
Highway Shield Gallery
 
 
Site Navigation
District of Columbia
Kentucky
Maryland
North Carolina
Tennessee
Virginia
West Virginia
Virginia Highways Project
 
 

Interstate 66 East - Prince William, Fairfax, Arlington Counties

Interstate 66 East
The freeway again widens out as it approaches Exit 40, Junction U.S. 15 north to Leesburg (Junction Virginia 7) and south to Haymarket (via Virginia 55). U.S. 15 merges with four-lane U.S. 29 south of Haymarket and southwest of Gainesville. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 meets U.S. 15 at Exit 40. U.S. 15 is a major highway that passes through the center of the state, generally parallel to busier U.S. 29. The two routes merge, in fact, between Warrenton and Culpeper. U.S. 15 heads south into North Carolina and South Carolina and north into Maryland and Pennsylvania, reaching its northern terminus at Interstate 86 in New York. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Now on the off-ramp from Interstate 66 east to U.S. 15 north/south are these signs. A traffic signal regulating traffic at this divided highway intersection was added after this photo was taken. Note the use of series E on the shield font. Photo taken 06/01/04.
A seemingly rural stretch of Interstate 66 is an illusion as suburban sprawl fronts the westbound side of the freeway just beyond the tree line. Many developments now occupy the lands adjacent to parallel Virginia 55 (John Marshall Highway) on the eastbound side. Work is underway in 2009 to extend the eight-lane section of Interstate 66 west to Gainesville. Photo taken 05/30/05.
Eastbound mileage sign listing the distance to Gainesville (junction U.S. 29), the independent city of Manassas, and Washington, DC posted on Interstate 66 between Exits 40 and 44. Photo taken 05/30/05.
The next exit along eastbound is the directional cloverleaf interchange with Exit 43A-B, Junction U.S. 29 (Lee Highway) south and north. Photo taken 05/30/05.
Exit 43A provides access to southbound U.S. 29, which connects to westbound Virginia 55 at Gainesville (which is the eastern terminus). From Gainesville, U.S. 29 south connects to U.S. 15, U.S. 17, and U.S. 211 in Warrenton, then continues south through the center of the state, connecting to Culpeper, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Danville en route to North Carolina. Most of the route is an expressway or freeway through the state. Photo taken 06/01/04.

As part of this cloverleaf interchange, the second ramp connects eastbound Interstate 66 with northbound U.S. 29. Northbound U.S. 29 actually does not head north at all; it will parallel Interstate 66 from here east to Washington, D.C. In fact, Interstate 66 will reach its eastern terminus at the interchange between the Potomac Freeway (Interstate 66) and Whitehurst Freeway (U.S. 29). From Washington, D.C., U.S. 29 heads north to its northern terminus at Interstate 70/Maryland 99 north of Columbia and Ellicott City. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Interstate 66 travels north of Manassas between Exits 44 and 52 with two interchanges serving the city. Exit 44 serves interests to the Nissan Pavilion and the Virginia Railway Expressway Broad Run/Airport commuter rail stations. Interstate 66 was expanded since this photo was taken to eight overall lanes from Virginia 234 eastward. Photo taken 05/30/05.
The next exit along eastbound is Exit 44, Junction Virginia 234/Prince William Parkway south to Manassas and Dumfries, one-half mile. Use Exit 44 to reach the Manassas Regional Airport. The city of Manassas is most famously known for the historic Civil War battles that occurred here. Perhaps more infamous was the case of John Wayne Bobbitt and his knife-wielding wife. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 44, Junction Virginia 234/Prince William Parkway south to Manassas and Dumfries. Virginia 234 connects U.S. 1 at Dumfries with U.S. 15 west of Catharpin. The highway forms a diagonal route between these two points, and it connects Interstate 95 with Interstate 66. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Interstate 66 east and Virginia 234 north briefly merge between Exits 44 and 47. The old alignment of Virginia 234 is designated Business Virginia 234, and the business route passes through Manassas. At Exit 44, Virginia 234 resumes its course north to meet U.S. 29 a mile or so north of this interchange and onward to Catharpin. Business Virginia 234 heads southwest to enter Manassas. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Use Virginia 234 north to reach Manassas National Battlefield Park. The business route, meanwhile, connects to Dumfries Road via downtown, and it merges back with Virginia 234 at the intersection with Prince William Parkway. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 47, Junction Virginia 234 north to Manassas National Battlefield Park and Business Virginia 234 south to Manassas. Photo taken 06/01/04.
After the second Manassas interchange along eastbound, the shift of Interstate 66 from a rural freeway into a suburban freeway is underway. The eastbound direction will widen out to incorporate a third lane for high occupancy vehicles (carpools with two or more people per vehicle during the morning commute hours). Note the volume of traffic on the westbound direction during the afternoon rush hour. Photo taken 06/01/04.
And only a quarter mile further east, Interstate 66 changes dramatically. Now with four lanes (three through lanes plus one high occupancy vehicle lane), Interstate 66 is wall to wall concrete, with no more grassy medians until after reaching the Capital Beltway. Lane restrictions, travel times, weather conditions, emergencies, and accidents are reported to motorists via variable message signs such as this one. Since this photo was taken during the afternoon rush hour, there were no lane restrictions. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Interstate 66 never leaves the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and Bull Run is one such tributary. (Add something about where Bull Run goes and something about the Battle of Bull Run.) At Bull Run, Interstate 66 enters Fairfax County and leaves Prince William County. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The first exit on now-heavily traveled Interstate 66 is Exit 52, Junction U.S. 29/Robert E. Lee Highway north (east) to Centreville and south (west) to Manassas National Battlefield Park. U.S. 29 runs parallel to Interstate 66 from Gainesville to Washington. At one time, U.S. 29 was cosigned with U.S. 211 along this stretch, as the Lee Highway was designated in its entirety as U.S. 211 east of New Market. However, U.S. 211 was truncated in 1981 since it does not have any extant mileage beyond what it shared with U.S. 29. In spite of map research, it is unclear where, exactly, U.S. 211 ended in the District of Columbia before it was retracted. Photo taken 06/01/04.
In addition to the pending U.S. 29 interchange (Exit 52), another pending interchange is Exit 53, Junction Virginia 28, 1.75 miles. Virginia 28 is a major north-south corridor that links Interstate 66 with Dulles International Airport and the Virginia 7 corridor to the north. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 52, Junction U.S. 29 north/east to Centreville and south/west to Manassas National Battlefield Park. The next exit is Exit 53, Junction Virginia 28, 1.25 miles. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Virginia 28 is an expressway from Interstate 66 north to Virginia 7 with some freeway segments. The interchange between Interstate 66 and Virginia 28 is a slow-speed loop ramp, with complete access control. To the north, Virginia 28 connects with Virginia 7 and the Dulles Greenway to Leesburg. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 53, Junction Virginia 28 north to Centreville and Dulles International Airport. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The next exit along eastbound is Exit 55, Virginia 286 (former SSR 7100), the Fairfax County Parkway, one mile. Virginia 286 is an expressway that extends north to Virginia 7/Leesburg Pike north of Reston and south to U.S. 1/Jefferson Davis Highway near Fort Belvoir, providing a regional route that connects Interstate 66 with Interstate 95. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 55, Junction Virginia 286 (Fairfax County Parkway). Use VA-286 north to reach Reston and south to reach Centreville and Lorton. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The next interchange along eastbound is Exits 57A-B, Junction U.S. 50 east to Fairfax and west to Winchester, one mile. U.S. 50 parallels Interstate 66 east through Arlington and merges with Interstate 66 to cross the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge into the District of Columbia. Photo taken 06/01/04.
During morning commute hours, the shoulder of the road acts as a right lane for exit only to U.S. 50/Exits 57A-B. During other hours, the shoulder is not for through traffic. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 first reaches Exit 57A, Junction U.S. 50 east to Fairfax; the second exit in the interchange with U.S. 50 is Exit 57B, Junction U.S. 50 west to Fair Oaks and Winchester. As part of a transcontinental highway, U.S. 50 passes through northern Virginia en route to the District of Columbia, Annapolis, and the eastern shore of Maryland. To the west, U.S. 50 heads toward the heartland, passing through the Midwest and Great Plains before reaching the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Unlike many east-west U.S. routes, most of U.S. 50 has not been subsumed by an Interstate highway. As a result, the highway extends all the way to West Sacramento, California. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Again note that the shoulder is in use during the morning commute hours for exit-only traffic. The first sign identifies when the shoulder may be used for the purpose of exiting, and the second sign has a red "X" when the shoulder is closed to traffic and a green downward arrow for when the shoulder is open to traffic. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 57B, Junction U.S. 50 west to Fair Oaks and Winchester. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The next exit along eastbound is Exit 60, Junction Virginia 123/Chain Bridge Road south to Fairfax and north to Vienna, 0.75 mile. Virginia 123 extends north from a junction with U.S. 1 in Woodbridge north along Ox Road into Fairfax, then angles northeast from Fairfax onward to the George Washington Parkway near McLean. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Exit 60 connects to an emergency medical care facility via Virginia 123 south. This sign is also of interest because this small font is more endemic to Orange County, California, with its unusual system of retrofitted exit numbers pasted onto existing signs results in a variety of small, medium, and large exit number plates attached on top of or within an existing sign. Also use Virginia 123 south to reach George Mason University. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The right lane prepares to exit to a modified cloverleaf for Exit 60, Junction Virginia 123 north/south. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 60A, Junction Virginia 123 south to Fairfax, followed by Exit 60B, Junction Virginia 123 north to Vienna. Photo taken 06/01/04.
This view of the collector/distributor lane is seen from eastbound Interstate 66 as it passes under the Virginia 123 overpass. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The next exit along eastbound is Exit 62, Junction Virginia 243/Nutley Street south to Fairfax and north to Vienna. Interstate 66 motorists are greeted by a brief stretch of green, grassy median . but that median will soon come to an end. As for Virginia 243, that highway connects U.S. 29/Lee Highway to the south with Virginia 123 in Vienna to the north. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 62, Junction Virginia 243 north to Vienna and south to Fairfax. Like the previous interchange (with Virginia 123), this is another modified cloverleaf interchange; scroll down two photoboxes to see the loop exit ramp for Virginia 243 north. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The character of Interstate 66 changes again, as a rail transit corridor is now located within the freeway's median (replacing the all too brief stretch of grassy median), and signs begin to announce the major interchange between Interstate 66 and Interstate 495/Capital Beltway. There is one connection from eastbound Interstate 66 to southbound Interstate 495/Outer Loop, but there are two separate ramps from eastbound Interstate 66 to northbound Interstate 495/Inner Loop. One of these two ramps is a left exit that provides a direct connection from the high occupancy vehicle lanes of Interstate 66 onto the same lanes on Interstate 495/Capital Beltway. This ramp is only restricted during commute hours; it is open to all vehicles during other hours. This sign is the first sign to announce the pending interchange with Interstate 495 in 2.50 miles. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Now passing under Virginia 243/Nutley Street, Interstate 66 prepares for the interchange with the Capital Beltway (the modified cloverleaf provides a loop ramp to northbound Virginia 243). As noted previously, two exit ramps connect eastbound Interstate 66 with Interstate 495. The left exit is restricted to high occupancy vehicles only during morning commute hours, but it is not restricted during other times. The other ramps are normal right exits, but the right exit to northbound Interstate 495 (Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway) is a slower connection than the left exit. Also note the white regulatory sign to the left of the large diagrammatical sign: During the morning commute hours, ALL non-high occupancy vehicles MUST exit Interstate 66 east. At those times, Interstate 66 is essentially closed to single occupancy vehicles (Monday through Friday from 6:30 am to 9:00 am). It is rare for a freeway to consist solely of high occupancy vehicle lanes, but that is the case for much of Interstate 66 from Interstate 495 to the Roosevelt Bridge. Photo taken 06/01/04.
During those morning commute hours, this variable message sign would illuminate travel restrictions as a result of the high occupancy vehicle restriction. Since this picture was taken during the afternoon, there were no restrictions, although trucks must exit Interstate 66 and use Exit 64A (Interstate 495 south/outer loop) or Exit 64B (Interstate 495 north/inner loop). Photo taken 06/01/04.
Another diagrammatical sign provides an overview of the structure of this interchange, including all three ramps to Interstate 495. Interstate 495 is the Capital Beltway, a six to ten-lane freeway that encircles Washington, D.C. To reach Maryland, including the cities of Silver Spring, Frederick, Laurel, and Baltimore, use Interstate 495 north/inner loop. To reach Fredericksburg, Richmond, and destinations along Interstate 95 south, use Interstate 495 south/outer loop. For the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Annapolis, motorists may opt to remain on Interstate 66 and pass through the city via Interstate 66, with a connection to Interstate 395, Interstate 695, and Pennsylvania Avenue to District of Columbia 295 via Virginia 110 south. The other option would be to take either leg of the Interstate 495 beltway to bypass the District and connect with U.S. 50 east to Annapolis and the Eastern Shore. Photo taken 06/01/04.
In addition to providing access to suburbs around the District, Interstate 495/Capital Beltway serves as a regional connector to major arterials in the Interstate Highway System. Interstate 495 north/inner loop, for instance, connects with Interstate 270 near Silver Spring, Maryland, and that provides a connection to transcontinental Interstate 70 at Frederick. Similarly, Interstate 495 overlaps Interstate 95 on the eastern half of the beltway. Interstate 95 is the primary route north to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. Looking south, Interstate 95 takes travelers to Richmond, Petersburg, and then onward to Florida via the Carolinas and Georgia. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Again, this sign bridge repeats instructions to motorists when the Interstate 66 freeway is closed to single-occupancy vehicles on the highway. At the time this photo was taken, these restrictions were not in place. When Interstate 66 was originally constructed between Interstate 495 and the Roosevelt Bridge, it was planned to be a 24-hour high occupancy vehicle freeway. That plan was gradually retracted to the point where it is only restricted during morning commute hours. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Some of the suburban locations served by the Capital Beltway/Interstate 495 include Alexandria along southbound/outer loop (Exit 64A) and Tysons Corner, Wolf Trap, and Farm Park along northbound/inner loop (Exit 64B). If Interstate 66 is closed to single-occupancy vehicles, an alternative is to take Exit 64A to the U.S. 50 interchange, then follow U.S. 50 into Washington, D.C. Photo taken 06/01/04.
A transit station in the center median provides access to the light rail located in the median of Interstate 66. These three signs provide guidance to the next three exits: Exit 64A, Junction Interstate 495/Capital Beltway South/Outer Loop to Alexandria and Richmond; Exit 64B, Junction Interstate 495/Capital Beltway North/Inner Loop to Tysons Corner, Silver Spring, and Baltimore; and Exit 64C, the high occupancy vehicle lane connection from eastbound Interstate 66 to northbound Interstate 495. Notably, this is the second and final Interstate-to-Interstate interchange along Interstate 66, since Interstate 66 does not directly connect to Interstate 395 in Arlington. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 64A, Junction Interstate 495/Capital Beltway south/Outer Loop to Alexandria and to Interstate 95 south to Fredericksburg, Richmond, Petersburg, and Emporia. The next ramp is Exit 64B to Interstate 495 north. Photo taken 06/01/04.
After the ramp for Exit 64B/Interstate 495 north, this picture shows Exit 64C, the high occupancy vehicle transition ramp from eastbound Interstate 66 to northbound Interstate 495/Capital Beltway. The pull-through sign identifies the freeway's restrictions during morning commute hours, but none of those were in effect at the time this photo was taken. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The freeway's characteristics change yet again, as Interstate 66 resembles a parkway as it narrows to only two lanes in each direction, and grassy areas return to both the rights of way and the median. The light rail line is still in place in the median, but it is a bit less noticeable. An Interstate 66 Virginia shield is located near the location of this photo. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The first exit within the beltway is an interchange with Exit 66, Junction Virginia 7/Leesburg Pike east to Falls Church and west to Tysons Corner. Photo taken 06/01/04.
With no trucks allowed on Interstate 66 at any time within the beltway, the freeway seems a bit roomier. Nevertheless, traffic delays are common on this narrow stretch, especially during a series of merges ahead. This photo also shows another transit station for the light rail line. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The next six exits serve Arlington County, Virginia: Exit 68, Westmoreland Street; Exit 69, Junction U.S. 29/Virginia 237; Exit 71, Junction Virginia 120/Virginia 237; Exit 72, Junction U.S. 29/Spout Run Parkway; Exit 73, Rosslyn to Francis Scott Key Bridge; and Exit 75, Junction Virginia 110. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 68, Westmoreland Street. The following exit, which results in a series of merges, is Exit 69, where Interstate 66 meets U.S. 29/Lee Highway and Virginia 237/Washington Boulevard. Notice how traffic is slowing as it approaches the next interchange. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The next exit along eastbound is Exit 68, Westmoreland Street. Westmoreland Street heads northwest toward McLean in Fairfax County. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 69, Junction U.S. 29/Lee Highway and Virginia 237/Washington Boulevard. As noted earlier, U.S. 29 parallels Interstate 66 between Gainesville and the District. Virginia 237 roughly parallels U.S. 29 to the south; it joins U.S. 50 near Arlington National Cemetery. Photo taken 06/01/04.
A slightly undersized Interstate 66 shield graces the freeway as it enters a power line right of way in Arlington after the U.S. 29/Virginia 237 interchange (Exit 69). Arlington, Virginia, has a unique history. From the official county web site, "Arlington County was originally part of the ten-mile square parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Then known as "Alexandria County of the District of Columbia," it included what is now Arlington County plus part of the neighboring city of Alexandria. The U.S. Congress returned that portion of the land to the Commonwealth of Virginia following a referendum among its citizens. In 1870, the City of Alexandria and Arlington officially separated their jurisdictions, and in 1920, the name Arlington County was adopted to end confusion with the City of Alexandria." A look at the map betrays the diamond shape originally proposed for the District of Columbia, as the county lines of Arlington County clearly show where the district would have extended. Notably, "there are no cities or towns within Arlington County, and by law the County cannot be divided for the establishment of separate jurisdictions. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The next exit along eastbound is Exit 71, Junction Virginia 120/Glebe Road and Virginia 237/Fairfax Drive, one mile. Notice how the traffic has dissipated substantially after passing Exit 69/Junction U.S. 29 and Virginia 237. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Use Exit 71 from Interstate 66 east to reach Ballston. Photo taken 06/01/04.
An exit-only lane is created for the interchange between eastbound Interstate 66 and Exit 71, Junction Virginia 120/Glebe Road and Virginia 237/Fairfax Drive. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The next exit along eastbound is Exit 72, Junction U.S. 29/Lee Highway (again) to Spout Run Parkway, 0.75 mile. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 72, Junction U.S. 29/Lee Highway to Spout Run Parkway. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The next exit along eastbound is Exit 73, Lynn Road south to Rosslyn and north to U.S. 29/Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Potomac River, 0.75 mile. Note that the center median light rail line left Interstate 66 for a different alignment toward the District of Columbia. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 73, Lynn Road south to Rosslyn and north to U.S. 29/Francis Scott Key Bridge. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The final exit along eastbound Interstate 66 within the Commonwealth of Virginia is the interchange between Interstate 66 and the Virginia 110 freeway. Virginia 110 heads south to the Pentagon, Alexandria, and President Ronald Reagan National Airport. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Virginia 110 extends from Interstate 66 and the George Washington Parkway south to Interstate 395 along the eastern edge of Arlington National Cemetery. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The speed limit for Interstate 66 decreases from 55 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour as the freeway passes under a cut and cover tunnel. Photo taken 06/01/04.
On the other side of the tunnel, Interstate 66 approaches Exit 75, Junction Virginia 110 south to Interstate 395 and U.S. 1 to the Pentagon, Crystal City, and Alexandria. Note that no trucks and no tour buses are permitted on southbound Virginia 110. Photo taken 06/01/04.
Eastbound Interstate 66 reaches Exit 75, Junction Virginia 110 south to Pentagon, Alexandria, Crystal City, U.S. 1, and Interstate 395. The freeway now continues east over the Potomac River into the District of Columbia. U.S. 50 quickly merges onto Interstate 66 east, even though no signs indicate it within Virginia. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The pavement changes as Interstate 66/U.S. 50 east depart Virginia and enters the District of Columbia at the southwestern bank of the Potomac River. The Arlington Memorial Bridge over the Potomac River is visible in the distance, but there is no direct connection from here to that highway. Photo taken 06/01/04.



Photo Credits:
2004-06-01, 2005-05-30 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 495 / Capital Beltway
U.S. Highway 29
Virginia 234

Page Updated 09-20-2009.

 
AARoads © 1997-2014 - Contact - Glossary - Purpose - Privacy Policy - Sitemap - Interstate-Guide