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Today in Interstate History

Interstate 66 in Fairfax County outside of the Capital Beltway, with the Metrorail lines in the median. The left lane is HOV, and the right shoulder is used as a travel lane during rush hour.

December 22, 1982

The final 10-mile segment of I-66, connecting the Capital Beltway (I-495) to the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge in the Washington, D.C, area, was opened. Nearly six years earlier, U.S. Transportation Secretary William T. Coleman, Jr., had approved funds for that part of the 65-mile Interstate route amid strong environmental concerns. Seeking to address those concerns, Coleman limited the segment to four lanes rather than the eight originally proposed. In addition, heavy trucks were not allowed to travel on that segment and rush-hour users driving in the peak direction would be restricted to cars with at least four occupants, buses, emergency vehicles, and Dulles Airport traffic.