What's the toll on I-66? (dot com)

TL;DR: I made a website - whatsthetolloni66.com


Anyone who commutes to DC from Northern Virginia knows about the rush-hour congestion pricing on I-66. HOV-2+ vehicles are free, but solo drivers can expect to pay a lot.

Occasionally I have to drive toward DC for work. I-66 is usually the fastest route, but toll prices can be all over the place ($20 from I-495 to DC is not unusual, although with light traffic it can be less than $5). I’ve tried checking VDOT’s vai66tolls.com website before heading out, but the price always changes by the time I actually get to I-66. Quickly checking the site on my phone is not an option - the interface definitely isn’t intended to be used on mobile devices.

A while ago I decided to scrape the I-66 toll data from VDOT’s website. This turned out to be more difficult than I assumed. The VDOT site’s interface sends multiple POST requests back to the server before the toll is actually returned. It took a while to figure out what these requests actually accomplish, especially since the requests include lots of extraneous form data. Eventually I arrived at Python script that could replicate the series of requests and extract the toll for a given route.

Recently I transformed that Python script into a small API with Flask and got it running on AWS Lambda. Then I built a really basic React UI - which is definitely overkill, but whatever. So… here it is: whatsthetolloni66.com

Not much, but actually pretty useful. Planning to add new features here and there.