May 22, 2023

66 Express OTB Builds Bridges for STEAM Fest ’23 at Bel Air Elementary 

Using Tinker Toys® Instead of Rebar, Engineers from Roadway Operator I-66 EMP Show Kids How a Bridge Is Constructed 

Woodbridge, VA – Monday, May 22, 2023 –I-66 Express Mobility Partners (I-66 EMP), builder and operator of the 66 Express Outside the Beltway, is building bridges to reach the next generation of scientists and engineers in Prince William County – literally. 

A team of I-66 EMP engineers was among the exhibitors Friday, May 19 at STEAM Fest ’23, a science fair-like event in which students in grades two through five participate in interactive activities designed to teach them about – and hopefully spark a professional interest in – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). 

Approximately 250 students visited experiment stations and participated in fun, hands-on activities to help them learn STEAM concepts the way the professionals do – by actively working with those concepts. 

At the I-66 EMP exhibit, engineers used Tinker Toys® to demonstrate how to build a strong, long-lasting bridge. Providing students with a hands-on model of a mostly constructed bridge, the EMP team asked them to inspect the bridge and work to complete it in a way that makes it structurally sound. 

Many students successfully accomplished the engineering task, even offering unique perspectives with some fun, artistic ideas. One group suggested higher structural supports. Another added strength to the bridge by using every Tinker Toy® available. The EMP engineers were impressed by the students’ creativity in adding aesthetic treatments to the model. 

The EMP engineers also educated students about the company’s role in the design, construction, and maintenance of high-volume roadways, and the teamwork required to build the 63 bridges along the 66 Express Outside the Beltway corridor.  

Presented by Leadership Prince William and memory storage company Micron Technology in collaboration with SPARK, the educational foundation of Prince William County Public Schools, the goal of STEAM Fest ’23 is to teach kids the wonders of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics through fun and discovery. 

“It was a pleasure to see the students’ excitement as our engineers showed them how we build long-lasting bridges using math and science,” said Nancy H. Smith, I-66 EMP’s director of corporate affairs and a Leadership Prince William graduate. “Being part of STEAM Fest ’23 has been an encouraging and uplifting experience for all of us involved with the 66 Express Outside the Beltway project.” 

About the 66 Express Lanes Outside the Beltway: 

Part of VDOT’s Transform 66 Outside the Beltway program, the 66 Express Lanes are a transformative 22.5-mile multi-modal mega-project featuring advanced dynamic-tolling systems to keep traffic flowing at all times. The lanes provide Northern Virginia commuters, businesses, and mass transit with a reliable option to move people, goods, and services throughout the I-66 corridor, allowing drivers to Sit Less, Live More. Visit to learn more, and keep up with the 66 Express Lanes on Facebook and Twitter. 

About I-66 Express Mobility Partners:
I-66 Express Mobility Partners (EMP) is a consortium of leading infrastructure companies including Cintra, Meridiam, and APG. In public-private partnership (P3) with the VDOT, I-66 EMP is contracted to operate the 66 Express Lanes Outside the Beltway through 2066. Connect with I-66 EMP on LinkedIn. 

Media contacts:

I-66 Express Mobility Partners:

Nancy H. Smith, Corporate Affairs Director