A sampling of Virginia’s major road projects
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project
Crews broke ground in October 2020 on the $3.8 billion Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) expansion — the largest project in Virginia Department of Transportation history. The project will increase tunnel and interstate capacity along 9.9 miles of Interstate 64 between Hampton and Norfolk to reduce congestion and improve access to the Port of Virginia.
Using a giant underwater tunnel-boring machine, twin two-lane tunnels (approximately 50 feet deeper than the current tunnels) will be constructed west of the existing eastbound tunnel and more than two dozen marine bridges will be replaced. The four-lane sections of the Interstate 64 corridor between Settlers Landing Road in Hampton and the Phoebus shoreline and the four-lane section of I-64 in Norfolk between the Willoughby shoreline and the Interstate 564 interchange will be widened to six lanes. The project — expected to be completed in late 2025 — will include a total of eight lanes across the water.
Fred Ex, Transform 66 projects
Transurban, an Australia-based toll-road operations company with its U.S. headquarters in Alexandria, is funding the construction of the $565 million Fredericksburg Extension (Fred Ex), which will offer traffic relief via a 10-mile extension of Interstate 95 express lanes south to Exit 133. Transurban will operate and maintain the express lanes and charge variable toll rates for using the lanes in a contract that extends until 2087. Developers say the extension will provide 66% more capacity on I-95 during peak periods. It is expected to open in 2022.
VDOT, the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and I-66 Express Mobility Partners are working on the $3.7 billion Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project. Improvements include 22.5 miles of new express lanes, which are expected to open along Interstates 66 and 495 in December 2022. Other projects include improved bus service and transit routes, additional park and ride lots, interchange improvements and 11 miles of bike and pedestrian trails.
Interstate 81 improvements
Regional fuels taxes, statewide road and diesel taxes and truck registration fees are going toward $2.2 billion worth of improvements recommended for Interstate 81 by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. In July 2019, I-81 localities saw a 2.1% regional fuels tax bump, which will fund projects such as widening the highway, making curb improvements and adding auxiliary lanes. Funding will go toward improvements to address major safety and reliability concerns on the 325-mile stretch between the Tennessee and West Virginia borders.