The “Transform 66” project is a “Public-Private Partnership” with the Virginia Department of Transportation. In other words, VDOT plans to find a private company bidder to build new toll lanes for I-66. The bidder will get the new land (taken from the surrounding homes, communities, and businesses with eminent domain) along with the right to toll the new lanes for decades into the future. This model has been used on I-495, with Transurban Limited of Australia as the winning (and only) bidder on that road.
VDOT has stated in their public meetings that they expect the project to cost around $2-3 Billion, but the private operators will only be able to raise about $1 Billion in E-ZPass tolls. Where does that $2 Billion shortfall come from? State and Federal public tax money.
In order to receive Federal dollars for a highway project, it must be approved by a Metropolitan Planning Organization. In Northern Virginia, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Transportation Planning Board (TPB) fills this role. The TPB must approve the I-66 Transformation widening project to get the necessary Federal funding. Federal dollars of course must also be approved and appropriated by U.S. Congress.
State public money from the Commonwealth of Virginia would likely be necessary as well. Similar to the Federal Government, the Commonwealth’s House of Delegates and Senate, together with the Governor of Virginia appropriate state funding.
Politicians representing you and your tax dollars deserve to hear your opinions on this project. Who is your Virginia legislator? Just go to Virginia’s Who’s My Legislator and find out.