VDOT construction hopes to smooth student commutes

In a city where traffic is inevitable at any given point of the day, it is also common to see construction happening simultaneously. A new project proposal from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) plans to focus on sections of I-64.

The project plans to have work done on I-64 from 0.150 miles east of Patrol Road to 1.036 miles east of I-264. Currently, there are three General Purpose lanes and shoulders. They will be converted into one part-time high-occupancy express shoulder lane and three General Purpose lanes.

The current bridges over Tidewater Drive will be widened and rehabilitated while the bridges over Chesapeake Boulevard will be replaced. Other bridges will be included in the rehabilitation and some spots along I-64 will be widened. Ideally the improvements will serve to make for smoother and less congested traveling.

Dissatisfaction with the roads and traffic around Virginia Wesleyan is evident in the conversations between students. Accidents are too frequent, students are late because of traffic and complicated merges and yielding lanes make driving confusing. But the road rage and complaints to friends do nothing to fix the roads.

VDOT recognizes the importance of public input with the two public hearings that will be held to discuss the new projects. The virtual hearing requiring registration will be held on Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m., and the in-person hearing will be on Dec. 2 from 4-7 p.m. This will be conducted at the Residence Inn Norfolk Airport.

During these hearings, VDOT representatives will share information about the proposed construction and will be open to answering questions. For those going to the in-person meeting, COVID-19 precautions will be followed.

Registration for the online meeting can be found at https://www.virginiadot.org/projects/hampton_roads/virtual_public_involvement_i-64_hampton_roads_express_lanes_norfolk_segment_1a-1b.asp. The website will also have the same information and presentation given at the hearings.

For those not interested in attending the hearing, comments can be given in through a survey on VDOT’s website, as long as they are submitted before Dec. 12. Comments can also be emailed to Claudia.Walsh@VDOT.Virginia.gov with the subject line “I-64 Hampton Roads Express Lanes Segment 1A/1B VDOT Design Hearing Public Comments.”

Information regarding specifics of the proposal can be found at https://www.64expresslanes.org/under_design/.

By Rhian Tramontana