Interstate 64 or I -64 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Virginia. The highway forms an east-west connection in the middle of the state and runs from the West Virginia border at Alleghany to the city of Chesapeake in the Hampton Roads region. En route, I-64 calls at the major cities of Richmond and Norfolk. Interstate 64 is 479 kilometers long.
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I-64 near Charlottesville.
Just north of Alleghany, Interstate 64 in West Virginia enters the state of Virginia. The highway then comes from Charleston and Beckley. One passes through mountainous and forested area, of the Appalachian Mountains. At Selma one crosses the US 220, which leads to Roanoke in the south. Leaving the mountains at Lexington, I-64 merges with Interstate 81, the highway from Roanoke to Harrisburg. Interstate 64 then runs through a wide valley to the north. US 11 runs parallel to this route. Both roads are double numbered as far as Staunton, 31 miles to the northeast. Here I-64 turns east again, directionRichmond.
One then reaches the Rockfish Gap, a pass height where frequent dangerous driving conditions due to dense fog. The road manager has installed lighting in the road surface, comparable to that on an airport runway. At the top one has a good view over the valley east of Rockfish Gap. North of this is Shenandoah National Park. You then reach the town of Charlottesville, where you cross the US 29, which continues inwards to Washington, but has been expanded to four lanes. US 250 runs parallel to Interstate 64. One still comes through wooded area. From Charlotte to Richmondthere are no large places on the route and the turns are usually some distance from each other.
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I-64 at the interchange with I-95 in Richmond.
One then reaches the Richmond conurbation. The city is the capital of Virginia. First, State Route 288 turns off Richmond ‘s western bypass . This road can be taken if one needs Interstate 95 to the south. Shortly thereafter, it crosses Interstate 295, which forms the northern and eastern bypass of the metropolitan area. I-64 then has 2×3 lanes. You pass through an industrial zone, with residential areas in the woods around it. On the west side of Richmond, Interstate 195 exits, which heads south and has a tangential connection to the Powhite Parkway, a toll road.
Interstate 95, which comes from Washington, is also intertwined in the same interchange. Both roads are then double-numbered for a few kilometers. At downtown Richmond, I-64 exits, while I-95 heads south to Petersburg and Miami. Interstate 64 also has 2×3 lanes after this. One then passes through Richmond’s eastern neighborhoods and suburbs. You will also pass the Richmond International Airport. On the east side of Richmond, Interstate 295 is crossed again. Then one leaves the conurbation, and the route continues over a peninsula towards Norfolk.
The interchange between I-64 and I-264 in Norfolk.
I-64 in Norfolk.
Before reaching the metropolitan area of Norfolk one has to cross a peninsula formed by the bays of the York and James rivers. You will pass Williamsburg, a well-known historic site, better known as “Colonial Williamsburg”. This area is heavily wooded, I-64 again has 2×3 lanes from Williamsburg. The first town to reach from the Norfolk cluster of towns is Newport News, a town of 180,000. Most connections in this area are laid out as cloverleaf. With 2×5 lanes you reach the city of Hampton, which has 146,000 inhabitants. This is where Interstate 664 exits, which goes along the west side of the conurbation. Interstate 64 then narrows again to 2×3 lanes.
One then crosses the Hampton Roads Bay via the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel river crossing which is a total of 8 kilometers long. This connection only has 2×2 lanes. You then arrive in Norfolk, which is considered the most important city in the conurbation, but is not the largest city, that is Virginia Beach. Norfolk has a population of 239,000. This city is an important port city, also for the US Navy, the US Navy. The city is special because it is built on all kinds of peninsulas and around creeks and bays. One passes by Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval port in the world. This is where Interstate 564 begins, which leads to the center of the naval base. Interstate 64 then runs past the International Airport along the east side of the city. There are 2×4 lanes and a change lane available here.
On the east side of Norfolk one then crosses Interstate 264, which connects the large suburb of Virginia Beach with Norfolk, which is even smaller than Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach has a population of 436,000 and is one of the largest suburbs in the United States. Interstate 64 then runs to the southwest, as a ring road. With 2×4 lanes, the highway runs through the extensive suburbia of the Hampton Roads region. You then arrive in Chesapeake, a large suburb. Here one crosses Interstate 464, which goes back to Norfolk. On the west side of Chesapeake, the highway ends at Interstate 264 and Interstate 664.
West of Richmond, Interstate 64 would follow the route of US 250 at the time of the design process. At the time, it was also proposed to move the route to the extreme southwest of Virginia, far from the current route to West Virginia. Notably, I-64 is not on the easternmost section at the end of the highway, as the highway turns back west from Norfolk. Since 2006, I-64 can also be used as a counterflow during an evacuation in the event of, for example, approaching hurricanes. I-64 is the only highway in the area that has hundreds of thousands of residents.
The first section of what would later become I-64 was the first Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel tunnel tube, which opened on November 1, 1957. That same month also opened 10 miles of highway through Hampton, the first section of Interstate 64 in Virginia. The rest of the highway was opened mainly between 1965 and 1975, the section through Richmond opened between 1966 and 1968 and the section around Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake between 1967 and 1969. The last links were opened in the late 1970s, in 1976. around Lexington, in 1978 the last link at Williamsburg in the east of the state and finally on July 29, 1979 the last link in western Virginia in mountainous area.
|Exit 262||Exit 268||10 km||00-11-1957|
|Exit 268||Exit 272 (1×2)||6 km||01-11-1957|
|Exit 255||Exit 262||12 km||00-00-1959/1960|
|Exit 238||Exit 255||27 km||1965|
|exit 0||Exit 24||39 km||1964-1966|
|Exit 159||Exit 205||74 km||1966-1968|
|Exit 275||Exit 297||35 km||1967-1969|
|Exit 107||Exit 159||84 km||00-09-1970|
|Exit 87||Exit 99||19 km||00-09-1971|
|Exit 24||Exit 27||5 km||00-12-1971|
|Exit 99||Exit 107||13 km||00-12-1972|
|Exit 272||Exit 275||5 km||1971-1975|
|Exit 205||Exit 227||35 km||00-12-1972|
|Exit 227||Exit 231||6 km||00-11-1974|
|Exit 268||Exit 272 (2×2)||6 km||00-00-1976|
|Exit 50||exit 56||10 km||00-10-1976|
|Exit 231||Exit 238||12 km||00-08-1978|
|exit 35||Exit 50||24 km||00-10-1978|
|Exit 27||exit 35||13 km||29-07-1979|
The dual-numbering with I-95 in Richmond has been built directly with 2×3 lanes, as well as the portion from I-95 to Airport Drive and the portion from Glenside Drive to I-195. In 1990, the section between I-295 and Glenside Drive was widened to 2×3 lanes. In about 2009, a short section between State Route 288 and I-295 west of Richmond was widened to 2×3 lanes.
The original High Rise Bridge over the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake.
The section between I-664 and the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel was widened to 2×3 lanes in 1988. In the period 1997-1999, the I-64 between Newport News and Hampton was subsequently widened from 2×2 to 2×4 lanes in two phases. A 2-lane HOV interchangeable lane was constructed in Norfolk in 1992 between I-564 and I-264. This part was originally already constructed directly with 2×3 lanes. In 1998, the section between I-264 and I-464 on the southeast side of the Hampton Roads region was widened from 2×2 to 2×4 lanes.
In 2018, the HOV interchange in Norfolk was converted to express lanes with dynamic tolling to better utilize capacity.
The High Rise Bridge over the Elizabeth River on the south side of the Hampton Roads conurbation was congested and substandard due to lack of emergency lanes. On October 24, 2017, a $410 million contract was awarded to construct a new 3-lane High Rise Bridge. This was the largest design build contract ever awarded by the Virginia Department of Transportation to date. Work officially started on January 12, 2018. The bridge will be opened to traffic on July 16, 2022. The existing bridge was subsequently designed in one direction with 3 lanes. The construction of the second bridge was seen as the first phase of an eventual expansion to 2×4 lanes, when the old High Rise Bridge will also be replaced.
As part of the replacement of the High Rise Bridge, eight miles of I-64 between I-464 and I-264 through Chesapeake have also been widened to 2×3 lanes. The extra lanes are express lanes. Due to the wide median strip, the extension of I-64 apart from the High Rise Bridge is a simple project with little spatial impact. The widening was completed at the end of 2022.
Widening Richmond – Newport News
It is planned to phase I-64 between Richmond and Newport News to 2×3 lanes. This will improve traffic flow and make any hurricane evacuations in the Hampton Roads region more manageable. Between 2015 and 2017, 10 miles of I-64 was widened by Newport News to 2×3 lanes between Yorktown Road and Jefferson Avenue. This cost $144 million. Construction began on September 8, 2015 and was completed on December 1, 2017. The second phase includes seven miles of I-64 between Williamsburg and Newport News and was completed in July 2019. The third phase includes eight miles of I-64 along Williamsburg and begins and ends at State Route 199. It started August 12, 2018 and was completed in November 2021. On August 20, 2019, the 4-kilometer widening of I-64 between I-295 and the New Kent County border on the east side of Richmond was completed. In later phases, the remaining section between Richmond and Williamsburg is to be widened to 2×3 lanes. This part is still 47 kilometers long.
Broadening the Hampton Roads region
The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel will be expanded from 4 to 8 lanes between 2019 and November 2025 with the construction of two new tunnel tubes. The project was awarded in February 2019 for $3.3 billion. Construction began on October 29, 2020.
In 2018, the 13-kilometer HOV interchange lane on I-64 between I-564 and I-264 in Norfolk was converted into express lanes with dynamic toll collection. The toll collection began on January 10, 2018.
The intensities are very low in the west, with barely 10,000 vehicles between West Virginia and Lexington. The double numbering with I-81 is busier, with 42,000 vehicles. After that, the intensity until Richmond is quite stable with 45,000 vehicles per day. In Richmond, the road peaks at 150,000 vehicles per day. Between Richmond and Newport News, this drops to about 60,000 vehicles, quite busy for an interurban connection, but not surprising since I-64 is the only highway into the Norfolk metro area. Norfolk also has about 150,000 vehicles on the busiest section.
Interstate 64 near James City.
|exit 0||Exit 175||2×2|
|Exit 175||Exit 185||2×3||Richmond|
|Exit 185||Exit 187||2×4||Richmond|
|Exit 187||Exit 197||2×3||Richmond|
|Exit 197||Exit 200||2×2||Richmond|
|Exit 200||Exit 205||2×3|
|Exit 205||Exit 234||2×2|
|Exit 234||Exit 258||2×3||Hampton|
|Exit 258||Exit 264||2×4||Hampton|
|Exit 264||Exit 267||2×3||Hampton|
|Exit 267||Exit 276||2×2|
|Exit 276||Exit 284||3+2+3||Norfolk|
|Exit 284||Exit 291||2×4||Norfolk|
|Exit 291||Exit 299||2×2|