How will construction affect traffic in the I-64/High Rise Bridge corridor?
Impacts to traffic are unavoidable with such a large project. However, it is the goal of VDOT and its design-builder GPC to minimize disruptions as much as possible.
During construction, all existing lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction during the vast majority of operations. Occasional short-term lane closures will be necessary. Construction operations that require longer-duration single-lane closures will be limited to night operations. All lane closures will be announced in advance on electronic overhead signs and on the Traffic Alerts page.
Please note that crashes, emergency maintenance work and other unforeseen incidents may result in lane closures, stoppages and temporary detours, as is the case with interstate travel in general.
Speed limits will be reduced to 55 mph in work zones along I-64. Several measures will be taken to mitigate congestion around the work zones, including the use of a full-time incident management coordinator, pull-off areas no more than 1 mile apart and temporary acceleration and deceleration lanes to and from the work zones for construction equipment.
Construction to replace the federally owned Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway Deep Creek Bridge is scheduled to begin in 2019. Will activities on this project and the High Rise Bridge Project be coordinated to minimize interruptions to motorists?
Yes. The existing four lanes of traffic on I-64 will be maintained throughout construction of the High Rise Bridge Project, and the existing two lanes of traffic on Business Route 17 will be maintained throughout the construction of the Deep Creek Bridge. When a short-term lane closure is needed on either project (for example, a closure of a couple of hours to deliver materials), the two contractors are required to coordinate with each other to ensure the closure is implemented to minimize impacts to traffic.
What is the timeline for construction?
Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2018 and conclude by summer 2021. For a more detailed look at the anticipated schedule for the project's main segments, including the new High Rise Bridge, click here.
In 2018, most of the construction will be limited to the new High Rise Bridge east of the Elizabeth River. In 2019 and 2020, most or all of the project's segments will be under construction at the same time, including bridge construction in the river.
What will happen to the existing High Rise Bridge?
The existing High Rise Bridge will remain in operation and will be converted to carry one-way traffic.
At the completion of the project, it will carry only I-64 east traffic (toward I-264/Bower's Hill), while the new bridge, which will be constructed immediately to the south, will carry I-64 west traffic (toward Virginia Beach).
Does the project include noise barriers/sound walls?
A detailed noise study will be conducted as part of the awarded contract that is now underway. The study will determine if noise barriers are warranted at any of the properties that are adjacent to or near the project. For more information on the criteria for noise barriers and to read Virginia's noise abatement policy, please visit this VDOT web page.
Is the I-464/I-64 interchange part of this project?
The project does not include construction of any roadway improvements on the I-464/I-64 interchange.
A future Phase 2 project to widen I-64 from 6 lanes to 8 lanes is currently expected to be constructed in about 15 years (in the mid-2030s). That project would include improvements to the I-464/I-64 interchange.
Where will the new lanes on I-64 be constructed?
The new lanes will be built mostly in the existing median of I-64. This will minimize right of way and environmental impacts, which in turn minimizes the cost of the project.
Why is this project being built?
To increase capacity, improve safety along the corridor, reduce congestion and enhance a regional evacuation route.
Aside from adding a managed lane, how else will this project help my commute?
The exterior shoulders between Route 17 and Great Bridge Boulevard will be constructed for use as a non-tolled, managed lane that general traffic can use during periods of peak congestion. That means drivers will have three non-tolled lanes in this stretch of I-64 during heavy congestion, plus one managed HOT lane.
The existing travel lanes will also receive an asphalt overlay during construction.
In addition, the new High Rise Bridge, which will be used exclusively for westbound I-64 traffic (toward Virginia Beach), will feature a fixed span because of its height, eliminating bridge lifts for motorists traveling in this direction.