A sampling of Virginia’s major road projects
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project
The $3.3 billion Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel expansion is the largest construction project in the history of the Virginia Department of Transportation. In February 2019, Hampton Roads Connector Partners, a joint venture led by New York-based Dragados USA, won the design-build contract for the project, which is expected to be completed by November 2025. The expansion will add two-lane tunnels and widen the four-lane sections of Interstate 64 in
Hampton between Settlers Landing Road and the Phoebus shoreline. It will also widen the four-lane section of I-64 in Norfolk between the Willoughby shoreline and I-564 interchange. VDOT plans to buy property on Willoughby Spit for construction staging. The Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission primarily is funding the project, with state and federal support. The state estimates that the project will generate $4.6 billion in economic investments and 28,000 jobs.
Connectivity on interstates 495 and 95
Virginia and road operator company Transurban have invested $1 billion in a public-private partnership to reduce traffic congestion and improve connectivity on interstates 495 and 95 in Northern Virginia. The projects include a 2.5-mile extension of I-495 express lanes to the American Legion Bridge and the Maryland border. (In December, Virginia and Maryland entered into a pact to replace the American Legion Bridge by 2025.) There will also be a new auxiliary lane to reduce bottleneck traffic on the Occoquan Bridge. The auxiliary lane will connect the southbound Route 123 ramp onto I-95 with the westbound off-ramp of Prince William Parkway. The project also will add a reversible ramp to improve access to Potomac Mills and Sentara Virginia Medical Center. The fourth project will extend the I-95 express lanes in Fredericksburg by 10 miles to increase the highway’s capacity by 66% during its peak hours.
SHENANDOAH/ SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
Establish funding for improving I-81
Localities along the Interstate 81 corridor saw a 2.1% regional fuels tax bump starting last July. The approximately $150 million in revenue generated by the tax will go toward $2.2 billion worth of improvements recommended for I-81 by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Gov. Ralph Northam opted for a fuels tax as opposed to tolls after months of debate in the 2019 General Assembly. The funding will go to improvements regarding major safety and reliability concerns on the 325 miles between the Tennessee and West Virginia borders. Projects will include widening the highway, curb improvements and adding auxiliary lanes.