VDOT holds public meetings on southside crossing alternatives

Photo courtesy VDOT cameras

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton Roads residents will have a chance to voice their opinions on several options that could alleviate traffic congestion crossing from Southside to the Peninsula.

The Virginia Department of Transportation held the first of several public meetings Wednesday at Ocean View Elementary School in Norfolk on four alternatives that have been identified for the area.

Photos: VDOT HR Crossings public meeting

The first option would be a new tube at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and the widening of Interstate 64 to six lanes.

The second would include a new tube — along with road improvements to I-564 and I-64 in Norfolk — a new tunnel across the Elizabeth River and a new four-lane highway just east of Craney Island in Portsmouth.

That would all then connect with U.S. Route 164, which would also be widened to six lanes.

WAVY News 10
WAVY News 10

The third option is called the Patriots Crossing, which would consist of a new bridge-tunnel with a Craney Island connector, widening of I-664 in Hampton to I-264 in Chesapeake and the addition of a parallel tube to the Monitor-Merimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel.

The fourth option is a hybrid that would combine the second and third options.

Jerome Bryan of Norfolk said he’d like to see traffic improve in the area.

“It’s very hectic. If you leave the house 10 minutes late, you’re in for a while,” he said.

He prefers Alternative D.

“It’s more bang for its buck, I think it is. It will be more traffic coming from both sides of the Newport News, Hampton area,” Bryan said.

“We’re interested because our house could be involved in us having to move,” said Ronnie Hill, who lives near the HRBT. VDOT said lane widening would largely be confined to the existing right of way, but that some homes could be affected under some of the options.

The meetings are part of work that VDOT is doing with the Federal Highway Administration to re-examine a 2001 Hampton Roads Crossing study that will also look at factors such as up-to-date engineering and scientific standards. VDOT said there is still an opportunity to influence the options under consideration.

Project Manager, Scott Smizik said the goal is to have the study published for public review next August.

“Congestion is a major issue right now. That’s one of the needs that needs to be resolved through these alternatives,” he said.

A second meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Captain John Smith Elementary School in Hampton.

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