Dulles Transportation Corridor

The Dulles Airport Access Road (DAAR) opened when the airport opened in 1962, and runs from VA-123 near I-495, to Dulles Airport, about 12 miles. This is a four-lane freeway for airport traffic only, and has no toll. There are sparse interchanges; on-ramps only inbound to Dulles, and off-ramps only outbound toward Washington, D.C. The road was built by the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), and they obtained wide enough right-of-way for parallel roadways to be eventually built on each side.

The Dulles Toll Road (DTR) was built by VDOT and opened in 1984, with parallel roadways on either side of the DAAR. It had six lanes from I-495 to VA-7, and four lanes elsewhere. Cars, busses, and trucks use the road without restriction. The DTR has frequent full interchanges for commuter traffic. The DTR and DAAR essentially is an freeway in a dual-dual configuration, although they are two separate highways.

The Dulles Access Road Extension (DARE) opened in 1985, as a four-lane freeway, about 2 miles long, extending the DAAR/DTR eastward to I-66 near Falls Church. The DARE has the same traffic restrictions as I-66, from I-495 to D.C.; no trucks anytime, HOV-2 during rush hour in the peak direction, open to all cars and busses otherwise. The DARE connects I-66 to both the DAAR and the DTR and has no toll. The DARE and I-66 permit airport traffic at all times, regardless of the level of vehicle occupancy. Rail transit proposals have existed for years in the DARE/DAAR corridor.

The Dulles Greenway (DG), a four-lane privately-built tolled freeway, opened in 1995, and essentially extends the DTR westward about 13 miles, to the VA-7 Leesburg Bypass. The private developer was Toll Road Investors Partnership II, (TRIP II). The official website is Dulles Greenway.

The DTR and DG are named the Hirst-Brault Expressway, and the DTR is VA-267. The DTR was widened to six lanes throughout in 1995. Widening to eight lanes to provide a HOV diamond lane each way was completed in 1999.

VA-7 from Leesburg to west of Round Hill was constructed as an 11-mile two-lane freeway on a four-lane R/W in the mid-1980s. The parallel roadway was completed in 1995. There is no toll on this four-lane freeway. The 2 mile four-lane VA-7 Leesburg Bypass was built in the mid-1970s.

This whole corridor provides a continuous limited access highway, from I-66 at Falls Church westward about 40 miles, in the VA-7 corridor, to just west of Round Hill. Coupled with I-66 in Arlington, this corridor forms 49 miles of four-lane or wider limited access highway from Washington, D.C. all the way out to Round Hill, near the Blue Ridge Mountains and West Virginia. The only section not built to full freeway standards is the two-mile section just west of Leesburg, which has partial control of access, and there are a couple at-grade intersections on the VA-7 Leesburg Bypass. VA-7 continues as a 4-lane divided highway west of Round Hill to I-81 at Winchester.

Copyright 1997-2005 by Scott Kozel. All rights reserved. Reproduction, reuse, or distribution without permission is prohibited.

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By Scott M. Kozel, Roads to the Future

(Created 8-14-1997, converted 4-16-2005)