I-564 Intermodal Connector opens in Norfolk
Motor carriers got an early Christmas gift on Thursday. With the opening of the $169 million, four-lane I-564 Intermodal Connector, it will be easier for carriers to move cargo to and from Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).
The connector is a dedicated ramp that provides an unimpeded link between the NIT’s North Gate and Interstate 564. The roadway was designed to speed the flow of truck-borne exports and imports while reducing the volume of vehicles on Hampton Boulevard, one of Norfolk’s busiest thoroughfares.
“The Port of Virginia is growing and projects like this are helping us keep pace and provide the necessary access to deliver the goods coming through this port – exports and imports — to manufacturers and consumers throughout our market and build our status as the mid-Atlantic’s global gateway,” John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said in a statement.
The North Gate and I-564 connector projects are expected to alleviate pressure on Hampton Boulevard. “We estimate that over time, as many as 700 trucks a day will forego Hampton Boulevard and head straight to the interstate,” Reinhart said.
In June, the port opened the new 26-lane, $42 million North Gate. The increased gate capacity at NIT – to 42 total lanes for motor carriers — is critical to the larger expansion taking place at the terminal.
“We are investing $375 million at NIT to expand our container handling capacity by 400,000 containers,” Reinhart said. “In order to handle more cargo at the berth and stack yard, our means of moving cargo to and from our terminals – rail, barge and truck – must expand and modernize in parallel.”
The expansion of NIT’s southern container stack yard is underway, with the pace of work expected to pick-up in January. The construction is scheduled to be complete by late 2020.
The Virginia Department of Transportation managed the I-564 Intermodal Connector project, and the phase connecting to the North Gate was opened as scheduled.