A sampling of some of Virginia’s major road projects
Orange cones have become a staple on many Virginia roads as the state moves forward with projects designed to reduce gridlock and speed people to their destinations.
I-64 high-rise bridge and road widening
Last fall, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) awarded a $409.6 million contract — the largest design-build contract in its history — for a project that will widen 8 miles of Interstate 64 in Chesapeake and construct a new high-rise bridge over the Elizabeth River. The contractor, Granite/Parsons/Corman, Joint Venture of Tarrytown, N.Y., will widen I-64 from four to six lanes, beginning half a mile east of the Interstate 264 interchange at Bowers Hill. The widening will add one High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane in each direction to the existing two lanes. The new fixed-span bridge will be built just south of the existing high-rise bridge. It will carry the three lanes of I-64 West traffic over the Elizabeth River. The existing bridge will continue to operate and will carry three lanes of I-64 East traffic upon the project’s completion, which is expected in 2021. A combination of funds from the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission and the state’s SMART SCALE program are paying for the project.
I-66 Outside the Beltway
Work is underway on this public/private project, which is expected to result in about $3.7 billion worth of transportation improvements for Northern Virginia’s I-66 corridor. Under a 50-year agreement, the I-66 Express Mobility Partners group (EMP) assumed responsibility for all costs to design, build, operate and maintain the I-66 express lanes. According to VDOT, the agreement requires zero public investment and $800 million from EMP for transit service in the corridor plus $350 million for other projects to improve the I-66 corridor during the life of the contract. The project will modify nearly 23 miles of I-66, providing two express lanes in each direction alongside three regular lanes that stretch from I-495 to University Boulevard near Route 29 in Gainesville. In addition, the project will add 4,000 park and ride spaces, expanded commuter bus service, safety improvements at interchanges, and bicycle and pedestrian paths. The project is expected to be complete in 2022.
I-95 Express Lanes Fredericksburg Extension
Interstate 95’s HOT lanes are being extended 10 miles south to Fredericksburg. Construction is expected to begin in 2019 and continue through 2022. It will add two reversible lanes, extending HOT lanes from their current terminus near Garrisonville Road in Stafford County to I-95’s exit for U.S. 17. Virginia included funding for the project in its 2016 Atlantic Gateway grant application. The state received a $165 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, part of a $1.4 billion package of highway, transit and rail projects in the I-95 corridor.
I-64 widening in Henrico and New Kent counties
This $60 million project is designed to improve safety and traffic flow while increasing vehicle capacity. VDOT has awarded a $43.4 million design-build contract to Corman-Branch, a joint venture, to widen a four-mile section of I-64 from the Interstate 295 interchange in Henrico County eastward to Bottoms Bridge in New Kent County. Work will occur in the median of the existing interstate lanes, limiting the impact of the construction. Work has begun and is expected to be complete by fall 2019. The existing bridge over the Chickahominy River also will be widened.